Our Community, Our Home – Staff

The New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (NZSATCM) prides itself to be a small tertiary education institution where staff, learners, and practitioners form a community they call “home”.

Introducing Our Staff Member

Dr. Debra Betts (PhD)

Dr Debra Betts is Programme Leader at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She teaches courses in traditional Chinese medicine, introduction to clinic, professional practice and Chinese medical specialties. She was on the working group developing the 3-year Bachelor of Health Science.

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In her time with the School, she has taught across many traditional Chinese medicine subjects, with a special interest in pregnancy care and women’s health. She developed an acupuncture course specifically for midwives in 1999 and is the author of “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth” published in 2006.

With a background in nursing, Debra developed an interest in acupuncture and graduated from the London College of Acupuncture in 1989. On returning to New Zealand, she joined the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (NZSATCM) in 1992.

In 2008, Debra instigated an acupuncture maternity clinic with NZSATCM at Hutt Hospital, the first of its kind in New Zealand, where she was the lead clinical supervisor until 2019. After being awarded her PhD from the University of Western Sydney in 2014, she returned to the School to act as the director for the postgraduate master’s programmes.

As well as publishing and lecturing internationally on maternity acupuncture, Debra has continued her involvement with NZSATCM through programme development and is currently the programme lead for the three-year Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture).

20 September 2021

George Cui

George teaches courses in TCM practical, tuina, acupuncture supplementary points and fundamental techniques, major Chinese classics and Chinese medical specialties at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Pengde Cui (George) was born into a TCM doctor’s family. From the age of 16, he worked and studied with his grandfather who is a TCM doctor. George graduated in 1983 from Nanjing Medical University where he completed Bachelor of Medicine. He went on to attain the Advanced Certificate of Brain Surgeon in 1988. He worked as an orthopaedic and neurosurgeon in Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, before moving to New Zealand to study Master of Forensic Pathology at Auckland Medical College in 1993 and 1994.

George completed the NZ National Diploma of Acupuncture in 2001, which he then upgraded to Bachelor of Chinese Medicine.

George has extensive knowledge of Chinese medicine and western medicine, especially injury and trauma related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. He has engaged in studies on combining TCM and western medicine for injury treatments in hospitals and has published journal articles in the Chinese language.

George has been operating Auckland Chinese Medical Center for more than 20 years. He has taught at the School since 2001, and was granted the title of professor and chief physician of Chinese medicine by WFCMS.

20 September 2021

Dr Kay Fielden

Dr Kay Fielden is Research Leader at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She teaches courses in communication and counselling for health professionals, and research methods and practice.

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Dr Kay Fielden (PhD (Social Ecology), MSc (Computer Science) BSc (Hons. Mathematics), Graduate Diploma (Social Ecology) has been an academic for more than 40 years. She has taught across all tertiary sectors, including universities, polytechnics, and private training institutes.

Kay started out as a lecturer in computing at the University of Canberra and moved up the academic ranks to professor of computing at Unitec, Auckland. Kay has published many research papers in journals, conferences, and white papers. She has supervised more than 200 postgraduate dissertations, theses and research reports at both doctorate and master levels. She has also examined many research dissertations, master theses and research reports.

Kay has mentored other staff in different tertiary institutions to become postgraduate supervisors, to learn how to research, and to deal with workplace issues. Kay has been a member of several NZQA panels both as an internal and an external staff representative. She was a member of the 2012 PBRF MIST (Mathematics, Information Science and Technology) Panel.
Kay is also a senior editor on two international peer-reviewed journals, an associate editor on another international peer-reviewed journal, and reviews for another journal. Kay serves the international research community through research leadership, editor and review work and serving on research committees.

Kay has taught and supervised across many disciplines, including health science, business, computing, ethics, information systems and communication, concentrating on teaching research to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, regardless of discipline area.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Carol Yang

Carol teaches courses in Chinese herbal medicine at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is on the working group developing the Graduate Diploma in Health Science (Tuina and Chinese Herbal Medicine).

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Carol has more than 20 years of experience as a Chinese Medicine practitioner. She spent eight years studying Chinese Medicine and gained two tertiary qualifications: a 5-year Bachelor’s degree (1996) and a 3-year Master’s degree (1999) from Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China.
Carol spent the first part of her career working as a lecturer and researcher at Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, and as a doctor at JiangSu Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

From 1996 to 2000, she participated in two national funded projects, “The Clinical and Experimental Research of Composite Prescriptions of TCM on Chronic Viral Hepatitis C” and “The Clinical and Experimental Research of Ziqi Ruangan Pian’s Resistance of Hepatic Fibrosis for Chronic Liver Disease”.

In 2003, Carol moved to New Zealand with her loving family. For the next eight years (2003~2012), she worked as a lecturer of traditional Chinese medicine at two Chinese medicine education institutions in Auckland. During this time, she also had an active clinical role.

After gaining her Postgraduate Certificate of Health Science from The University of Auckland, Carol took on the position of lecturer/clinical supervisor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has been with the School since February 2014.

Carol specialises in digestive disorders, chronic pain conditions, mental and emotional disorders. Her particular interest is the research of herbal therapy for gynecological disorders. She is currently doing research on blended learning with her colleagues. She is also on a working group responsible for the development of Graduate Diploma in Health Science (Tuina and Chinese Herbal Medicine).

In her spare time, Carol enjoys reading, gardening, and practising Tai Chi.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Lynn Huang

Lynn is Clinic Coordinator and Learning Support at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She teaches courses in TCM theory, acupuncture channel theory and fundamental acupuncture points, acupuncture point functions, musculoskeletal treatment and differential diagnosis.

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Lynn Huang graduated from Southern Medical University (SMU), formerly known as the First Military Medical University, where she completed a Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a Master of Clinical Medicine (Acupuncture).

Lynn is a registered TCM doctor in China and also a public nutritionist. She was teaching in university and supervising undergraduate clinics in a top 100 Chinese hospital before she joined the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2018, as a teacher and clinic supervisor.

Currently, Lynn is teaching TCM courses from year one to year four of the Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture), and supervising clinics where learners acquire their practical training under the supervision of experienced practitioners.

Lynn has been engaged in the study of acupuncture mechanism since her university days, major in HRV (heart rate variability) clinical research. She participated in several provincial, national and international research, in co-operation with the University of Bergen in Norway and published more than 20 journal articles in Chinese and English. She has been involved in the publication of more than 10 TCM books, including college textbooks in China.

Lynn was born and raised in Canton, she speaks four languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Mike Yin

Mike is Clinic Coordinator at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is also clinic supervisor and teaches courses in musculoskeletal assessment, clinical patterns, differential diagnosis, introduction to clinic and professional practice.

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Boyang Yin (Mike) graduated from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he completed a Master’s degree in acupuncture, moxibustion and tuina in 2014, before embarking on his study towards his PhD.

Mike is a registered TCM doctor in China. Before moving to New Zealand, Mike worked in hospitals as a physician for six years in China. He joined the School in 2020, as a teacher and clinic supervisor. In 2021, Mike was appointed Clinic Coordinator for the new 3-year Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture).

He has been engaged in the study of acupuncture since his university days, with his research on gastrointestinal diseases which he participated in at provincial and national levels in China.

Born and raised in northern China, Mike speaks Mandarin and English.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Peilin Li

Peilin teaches courses in TCM theory, clinical patterns and differential diagnosis at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Peilin graduated from Jianghan University Medical School in China in 1983. After graduation, he worked in the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Jianghan University Medical School, and became a lecturer and practitioner in TCM and acupuncture.

Peilin has been working in the TCM and acupuncture profession for nearly 40 years, both in the US and New Zealand. He has a lot of experience in treating different diseases and conditions with TCM and acupuncture. He is a registered member of Acupuncture NZ since February 1992, and an ACC provider (https://www.tcmcuring.com).

In 1996, Peilin completed his Master of Health Science at the University of Auckland, majoring in molecular immunology.

Between 1997 and 2017, he conducted research into finding a cure for HIV disease at the University of California San Diego, Harvard Medical School in Harvard University, and the University of California San Francisco in the USA (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peilin_Li2).

Peilin’s teaching career started when he completed in 1986 an acupuncture teaching certificate to become a lecturer in acupuncture at Hubei Traditional Chinese Medicine University Wuhan, China. He joined the School in 2019 as Clinic Supervisor and has since been teaching courses of the Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture).

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Peter Larking

Peter has studied and practised Chinese medicine for 25 years. In that time, he has achieved a Bachelor of Health Science specialising in acupuncture, Diplomas in Tuina, Qigong, Taijiquan, a Neuropuncture Certification and has recently completed cadaver research at the MARC Institute in Miami, achieving the upper torso, head, face, brain and spine dissection module.

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His teaching career spans over 20 years, starting at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Wellington in the early 2000s. Peter lectured in biomedical sciences, neurological anatomy, Chinese medical theory, acupuncture, Tuina, Qigong and Taijiquan for 13 years. Peter continues to have a busy teaching schedule with neuromedtec medical movement therapy rehabilitation programs, teaching for Forest Rock Qigong School (in Bali and online), Neuropuncture Inc and New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Peter is a specialist and teacher in electro acupuncture modalities and is a certified neuropuncture instructor offering continued professional development training in New Zealand and Australia. He currently works as the Medical Director of Neuromedtec, providing neuropuncture in Masterton Medical Centre, one of New Zealand’s largest medical facilities.

From his years of teaching, he imparts his extensive knowledge in a digestible way, bridging the gap between the traditional Chinese medical model with 21st century neurosciences.

To learn more about Peter, please visit neuromedtec.com.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Vesna Zdravkovic

Dr Vesna Zdravkovic teaches courses in biomedical pathology, basic microbiology, anatomy and physiology, applied biomedicine and clinic management at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Vesna started lecturing at the School on western medicine as early as 2007. Vesna worked as a lecturer and clinic supervisor in microsystems for the Maori community in South Auckland.

Born and raised in Serbia, Vesna considers herself a “kiwi” and calls Auckland home, after living in “the city of sails” for over 20 years. She has spent her past 30 years in medical study, as a general practice doctor, nutritionist, Su Jok practitioner and currently lecturer in acupuncture courses. As a natural practitioner, her interest is in adrenal fatigue, body pH, thyroid and gut health. Vesna’s mission is “to provide learners with the best scientific medical background to support their future TCM practices”.

Besides teaching, Vesna has a passion for a natural lifestyle, especially healthy food. “I enjoy working in my organic garden where I produce various fruit and vegetables. With beekeepers in the family, I’m a big fan of bee products and how bees and apitherapy can be part of us living healthy”, she said.

Vesna is very active in various organisations related to alternative and natural therapies. She has been an executive board member of the New Zealand Natural Medicine Association and founder of Su Jok Onnuri New Zealand for more than a decade.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Sarojini Devi

Sarojini teaches courses in academic writing, biomedical pathology, professional issues and microbiology at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Sarojini Devi, a retired Anatomic Pathologist, migrated from Malaysia seeking a new life 11 years ago. Unable to get her degree registered with the New Zealand Medical Council to practise her profession, she joined Massey Citizen Advice Bureau, as a volunteer for two years – gaining experience in customer service, resolving issuing pertaining to housing, health and welfare of adults and children as well as gaining knowledge on the legal and legislative aspects in New Zealand. She then explored the idea of wanting to put her knowledge and experience in her medical field into teaching. Hence, she joined New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine, as a part-time tutor, where she was able to restructure the course material according to current learning outcomes as well as provide the necessary theoretical, clinical and diagnostic knowledge required for learners to apply in their practice. She was able to bring the overall pass rates to above 70%.

Sarojini was also approached by New Zealand College of Chiropractic to undertake a temporary replacement for their pathology staff who was away on medical leave. She successfully managed the College’s transition from a 4-semester pathology course into a 3-semester course while maintaining the learning outcomes, subject content and the high achievement standards of the College. Her employment with the College came to an end when one of the chiropractors successfully completed a degree in pathology, thus rendering her position redundant.

In between these times, Sarojini also undertook part-time online classes and completed the level-5 adult and tertiary teaching certification which was of an immense boost to her teaching capabilities.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought changes in her life, where she was made redundant for three months and then re-employed. She subsequently resigned from New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine when she was offered employment as academic staff member at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in February 2021.

With her teaching experiences in the last eight years, Sarojini has become adept at detecting issues faced by learners and recommending appropriate measures to overcome them. Her friendly and good nature has endeared her both among learners and staff members.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Emma Haslam

Ka tū au i runga i te whāriki o ōku tipuna, He whāriki te whakapapa, he whāriki no nga whenu katoa o ōku tipuna hei tuapapa mōku i tēnei ao hurihuri,

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I te taha wahine,Ko Mataatua, ko Tainui nga waka.Ko Tauranga te moana, ko Waikato te awa. Ko Mauao, ko Tautari nga maunga.Ko Ngai Te Rangi, ko Ngati Hauā ngā iwi. Ko Ngati Tapu, ko Ngati Te Oro nga hapū.He uri hoki tenei taha no te motu o Hvar i Croatia
Ko tēnei te whenu o toku Māmā

I te taha tane, he uri whakaheke tēnei no Tiamana, no Airani hoki.Ko tēnei te whenu o toku Pāpā.

Ko ahau tenei te kanohi ora o rātou mā, ko ahau ko rātou, ko rātou ko ahau

I stand upon the genealogical mat woven from the many strands that are my ancestors. My genealogical descent is my foundation of strength in this ever-evolving world.

From my mothers’ line, Mataatua and Tainui are the waka, Tauranga the ocean, Waikato the river, Mauao and Tautari are the mountains, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Hauā the tribes, Ngati Tapu and Ngati Oro the subtribes. From this line I connect back to Hvar, Croatia also. These are the strands of the mat woven into me through my mother.

From my fathers’ line, I am a descendant of my German and Irish ancestors. These are the strands of the mat woven into me through my father.

I am the living face of my ancestors. I am them and they are me.

Emma is a Rongoā Māori practitioner. She has worked supporting Donna Kerridge in her Rongoā Māori practice for 10 years. She works in palliative care and community-based incentives providing Rongoā Māori services and education. She has also trained with prominent Rongoā Māori experts Rob McGowan and Atarangi Muru. Emma’s passion for Rongoā Māori is unrelenting. She is competent in karakia, Māori bodywork and traditional plant medicines.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Michael Fletcher

Michael is Clinic Supervisor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Having attained the Diploma in Natural Therapies from The South Pacific College in 1983, Michael’s career in complementary medicine began.

Fascinated by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Michael further obtained his Diploma in Acupuncture from Peking Acupuncture Institute in 1987.

Michael has taught acupuncture courses at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 20 years. In 2010, he gained a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) from the School.

Over the last 12 years, Michael has also worked as an examinations officer for Acupuncture NZ, working with overseas acupuncturists who wish to join the professional association.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Chiu Wing

Chiu is Clinic Supervisor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Born as the eldest son of a TCM family in Hong Kong, Chiu was designated to be the assistant of his father’s clinic. Not only did Chiu find TCM interesting, but he has also been practising qigong and Chinese martial arts for over 40 years.

After settling down in New Zealand in 1995, Chiu opened his TCM clinic in 1999 and subsequently registered as a member of Acupuncture NZ in 2002. Yet, he decided to pursue further study and graduated from the School with a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) in 2010.

Despite his 30 years of experience practising in TCM, Chiu still finds Chinese medicine challenging and intriguing. “Our diagnosis is largely based on checking the pulse, inspecting the tongue and so on. It requires much more critical thinking especially in analysing conflicting clinical observations”.

Chiu sees the clinical practice as a good opportunity for learners to acquire the skills in communicating with patients and gaining their trust. He also feels that learners can become more competent in their needling techniques, and locating acupoints through the practicum.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Rachel Zhao

Rachel is Clinic Supervisor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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An adventurous journey unfolded when Rachel decided to come to New Zealand during her last year of studying at Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), after working as an intern. Soon after landing here, Rachel entered straight into the workplace, taking advantage of her qualification in this unique field, as well as the God-given opportunity of her working holiday visa which she gained as one of the earliest 500 quotas in China after the free-trade agreement between New Zealand and China came into effect.

Owing to Rachel’s passion for the English language, she chose to work part-time while undertaking further English courses. Her serious focus paid her off with the highest English-Of-Second- Language qualification — the Cambridge English of Proficiency (CPE).

Although highly rewarded for her study endeavor and planning to work full-time afterward, she ended up returning to China. That was because the unusual pathway had led to her engaging in a long battle with Immigration New Zealand. This however had become a blessing in disguise in her life — by winning the battle after two critical decisions and actions in life — when she single-handedly appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, and was granted re-entry to New Zealand, the country which Rachel thought would never enter again, with a silver fern work visa and as one of the luckiest 300 elites worldwide that year.

Later, Rachel’s passion for TCM, English and teaching led her to a multifunctional role in New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine. she enjoyed a couple of years of the busy yet fulfilling period of teaching, administration and study of Certificate of Tertiary Teaching.

Since 2016, Rachel started to focus on clinical works. She was working with some multidisciplinary clinics and had established her own practice, before an opportunity invited her to work at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM in 2021.

In the pre-covid years, Rachel also participated in medical missionary work with Care Ministries International, visited Cambodia and Vanuatu to provide free medical treatments at her own cost to the people in need. She has also completed the Kairos Mission training.

A motto of Rachel’s favourite to share: your job doesn’t define you; you define your job.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Patrick Sit

Patrick is Clinic Supervisor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Wai Cheung Sit (Patrick) began his journey in traditional Chines medicine by enrolling extramurally in 2009 with Huinan University of Chinese Medicine in Changsha, China. In 2011, he graduated with a Diploma of Chinese Medicine.

After obtaining his Bachelor of Medicine (TCM) from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine in 2013, Patrick continued his studies in TCM and went on to complete his doctorate in clinical medicine, majoring in acupuncture and moxibustion.

Patrick is passionate about imparting his TCM knowledge and skills to the learners, as he wants to see them become confident and competent acupuncture practitioners upon their graduation.

Patrick started his practice in April 2014 and has worked in Auckland and Hong Kong. His practice involved the use of acupuncture and herbal skills to help his patients. He has handled different kinds of diseases and treatments related to general pain, arthritis, sciatica, poor digestion, diabetes, abdominal pain and diarrhea, vertigo, migraine and insomnia.

Patrick is a registered member of Acupuncture NZ and is also a member of the Hong Kong Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners.

Patrick speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Janise Heow

Janise is one of the two owners/directors at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She looks after the academic portfolio of the School.

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Janise is from Malaysia. Before coming to New Zealand, she worked for a multinational semiconductor corporation, Texas Instruments in Malaysia, for 29 years.

Together with her husband and daughter, they arrived in New Zealand on 23 September 2001. She holds a BA (Hons) in Business Administration from the University of Bolton (UK), formerly Bolton Institute of Higher Education.
Having a passion in education and quality assurance, she graduated with Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Master of Education from Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Her research paper was on quality in education management.

After graduating from AUT, she started work as a tutor but found that teaching was not for her. She went on to work in different education management positions, learning from each of the roles and its functions starting from being the Administration Manager to Registrar, Academic Director, Operations Manager, Associate Head of Undergraduate Studies, and finally a co-owner of this School. This journey of hers took 17 years.

Janise believes that her mission for the School is to produce ethical, quality and skillful acupuncturists/traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to heal the New Zealand community in need of alternative health services.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Kathryn Zhao

Kathryn is the Operations Officer at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Born and raised in Guangdong, China, Kathryn speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Kathryn has been working with the School since July 2019, after graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Science in statistics and a minor in mathematics.

In her role as Operations Officer, she works well with the learners and graduates, and provides consultation and support for domestic and international learners. Kathryn ensures the day-to-day campus operations are running smoothly, and all matters brought to her attention including health and safety issues are dealt with promptly and professionally. She is responsible for keeping and tracking attendance and academic records, conducting semestral course evaluations, planning teaching and clinic timetables, and working with the academic and clinic committees to ensure all reporting is done and compliances are met.

Going above and beyond her role as Operations Officer, Kathryn often steps out to assist her colleagues with administrative tasks. She has an open-door policy for learners to drop by to see her. Her opinions are valued, and she often directs them to the right channel for learning support or pastoral care.

Kathryn’s tertiary education is about dealing with numbers and formulae. However, she sees the people behind the numbers, and has gradually developed empathy for making numbers more meaningful by influencing the people that the numbers represent. This has made her an effective listener.

20 September 2021

Introducing Our Staff Member – Sharyn Corneal

Sharyn is Counsellor at New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Sharyn was trained in suicide bereavement and prevention, homicide bereavement, mental health, trauma management and social services. Her recent qualification was in the postgraduate certificate in counselling and addiction.

Sharyn worked in community support in mental health and with Geneva Health as a psyche assistant. She dealt with clients with challenging behaviour and those with bipolar and schizophrenia. She also worked with Victim Support dealing with suicide and homicide-bereaved families.

Sharyn volunteers her time once a week to provide free counselling to staff and students of New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM.

20 September 2021

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