Trevor Grice, MNZM, CNZM
Trevor is the Founder Director of Life Education NZ and has been in the Education Business for the past 30 years. He is the co-author of the best-selling book - The Great Brain Robbery. He assists throughout the public and private sector and has received several accolades for his work.
David Wale, CBE
David Wale has been involved with Life Education NZ from the very beginning. He was the chairperson of Life Education for a number of years before becoming the trusts' patron. David has also held a number of positions, including Chair of the Stock Exchange and managed the National Provident fund. He is currently the chair of Jarden Morgan. He lives with his wife, Annette, and has three daughters.
Chair: Rob Simcic
Deputy Chair: John Spring
John was born in Whakatane, and has been married to Philippa for 29 years and has 3 children. He is managing director of the Beacon Media group which includes newspaper and printing businesses. His father started the Whakatane Beacon in 1939. He is a passionate golfer (9 handicap) and is involved in the community as a golf club committee, Board of Trustees at St Joseph’s School, and a volunteer helper at the Catholic Church. John has been chairperson of the Eastern BOP Life Education Trust for 17 years and is a Life Member of Life Education Trust (NZ).
Trustee: Cameron Bagrie
Cameron has been an economist for 20 years and was the Chief Economist at ANZ Bank for 11 years before leaving in late 2017 to establish his own economic advisory business. Cameron is a regular commentator in the media and now spends his time working with a range NZ businesses and institutions both on today’s issues and future trends and potential disruptors. He grew up in Central Otago and has two primary school aged daughters who were excited when they learnt he was coming to work with Life Education.
Trustee: Maria Johnson
Maria is the owner and managing director of Little School, private preschools in Wellington and Auckland, which won Wellington Best Small to Medium Business 2011 and won her Wellington Regional Business Woman of the Year 2011. In 2012 Maria was Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and in the Next Women of the Year Awards. Maria was an executive member of the Early Childhood Council (ECC) since 2008 and was the President for four of these years. She is also a member of EDUCANZ Disciplinary Tribunal.
Trustee: Dee Lambie
Dee is an HR Practitioner and was a founding employee and then Director at HR management company Humankind, working across both public and private sector business, before leaving in 2017 to pursue consultancy roles. Prior to being involved in Humankind as a start-up, Dee worked with Trimble Navigation, Kensington Swan and Russell McVeagh. Dee has four school aged children.
Trustee: Graham Lawrence
Graham is a Chartered Accountant and Partner of Bellingham Wallace in Auckland. Graham is a tax specialist and Senior Member of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and independent director and trustee on a number of boards and trusts. Graham has three children and enjoyed seeing Life Education teach at his children’s school before joining the Board.
Trustee: Christine Goodin
Christine’s involvement with Life Education began 22 years ago and is a founding Trustee of the Life Education Taranaki Trust and a Life Member of LET NZ. Christine’s family are actively involved in Life Education across different parts of NZ. Christine has a long history of supporting at risk youth, providing care for more than 100 young people since 1995 and is heavily involved in the Taranaki Community.
Trustee: Jacqueline Taylor
Jacqueline began her career as a primary school teacher before pursuing her interests in financial education, investments and publishing. She is the founder of JUNO magazine, and engaged in all roles of this publication for five years. This later led to the launch of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme, of which she co-founded. More recently she acted as an Advisor to the Board and Director of Pie Funds Management with strengths in marketing, brand development and financial education. Jacqueline lives in Hawke’s Bay and has two primary school aged children.
Trustee: Jeff Hart
Jeff is CEO of the Benton Group, managing a diversified portfolio of assets, and has extensive history working in the area of business turnaround and insolvency. As a father to three young boys, Jeff sees first-hand the challenges that our kids are facing and places importance on empowering our children to help them grow. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Accounting.
Trustee: Dr Geoff Kira
Dr Kira is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Massey University. He has a background in exercise physiology and biochemistry with a strong emphasis in practical applications and translational research. He is a senior Māori health researcher in the fields of exercise, nutrition and sleep and applying them for optimal health and wellness. Dr Kira specialises in applying mātauranga Māori and science to obtain the most promising outcomes from that interface.
Situated in Wellington the National Office team support the community trusts, are responsible for programme development, the professional development of educators and the overall philosophical and strategic direction of Life Education in New Zealand.
The team are:
Chief Executive - John O'Connell
John is responsible for the overall management of the organisation which includes building and supporting its internal framework, the acquisition of sponsors and funders and organisational development.
Finance Manager - Penny Robertson
Penny manages our finances and provides each of our trusts with financial support and advice.
Programme and Development Manager - Jo Mortimer
Jo oversees programme development, resource development and Educator professional development.
Education Support Manager - Michelle Dow
Michelle oversees the initial training for our Educators around the country, she supports programme development and oversees the upgrade of our mobile classrooms.
Marketing and Communications Specialist - Hayley Sims
Hayley looks after our marketing collateral, social and traditional media, and internal and external communication.
Office Administrator - Lucy Clarke
Lucy is our ‘go to’ and provides administration and accounts support to the team and Trusts across the country.
Leader OMT - Cilla Bennett
Cilla coordinates our secondary school programmes - SMASHED and SMART$ and other projects.
Projects and Partnerships Manager - Belinda Cordwell
Belinda looks after our SMASHED and SMART$ programmes, works with our partners, and works on new projects.
Life Education is very proud to have the following life members:
Lance Hutchison, QSM
Bruce Darvill, QSM*
Trevor King, QSM*
Michael Cooney, QSM
Pat Seymour, OBE
Paul Cressey, ONZM*
Steak (John) Goodin, QSM
Chris Kirk Burnnand, MNZM