The Real World Living Leadership team was established at the end of 2015 in response to unanticipated referral numbers and the growth in planning and infrastructure required to manage those numbers. The Managing Director made the decision to utilise the considerable collective wisdom of the organisations more senior staff, in order to guide and manage the organisations operations and so stay ahead of the game.

Profiles of the current Leadership Team

Janette Peebles

Please refer to Director Profile

Deborah Freeman

Please refer to Director Profile

Joanne Aholelei

Jo joined the Real World Living team in 2016 and she is currently our Living My Life Program Manager and is also responsible for all our initial client assessments and the development of individual plans.

Jo has significant Health & Disability sector experience over many years, having worked in Rehabilitation trainer roles in both residential and community based environments, managed Day Activity programs and Supported Living services and performed funding assessments for clients with complex needs under the care of the Auckland Needs Assessment & Co-ordination Service.

Jo is passionate about people having choice, being able to make their own decisions and to have the right support to lead their own life.

Melenaite Aroha

Mel joined the Real World Living team at the beginning of 2018 as the Branch Manager for our Penrose branch and she is also has responsibility for all our accounting functions.

Mel has a number of years of experience managing residential services within the Health & Disability sector and her wide range of skills have added greatly to both the leadership and management at Penrose and to the expertise of the Leadership Team.

Mel is a passionate exponent of Disability rights, the rights and welfare of Maori within this sector and for all people to have as much choice and control over their own life as is practicably possible.

Judith Mattews

Judith joined the Real World Living team as a Life Activity Coach in 2015. She is currently our Very High Needs service Team Leader in Papakura.

Judith has a number of years of experience in the Health & Disability sector specifically in Teacher Aide and Life Activity Coach roles, in both site and community based programs and across a variety of disability types and levels.

Judith has a very strong values base grounded in her Maori heritage and is passionate about everyone taking responsibility for themselves, doing what they know they should, not allowing disability to be a disadvantage and living a good life. Her frontline expertise and experience and her no nonsense can do attitude ensure that the Leadership team remain securely connected to what is important to our clients, whatever the subject of our discussions.

Marian Galvin

Marian was one of the original people to join the Real World Living team in 2014. She became our Student Transition Co-Ordinator and continues in that role today. She is also our go to person for anything to do with the sector, business or client base because what Marian does not know is probably not worth knowing.

Marian has spent her whole life interfacing with the Health & Disability sector. Her father was instrumental in the setting up of the first Sheltered workshops in NZ. Not surprisingly, Marian also went into administration and then management roles within the sector through her early career. She then became very involved with Parent to Parent, managed community based projects for the Ministry of Health,  managed office and administration teams for private Health, Education and Rehabilitation companies, set up and managed her own equestrian supplies company and became one of the first Ministry of Social Development Student Transition Co-Ordinators in 2008. She has extensive knowledge and expertise of Health, education and disability sectors and developed extensive networks and linkages over her career which she has maintained to this day. What Marian is unable to answer she will find out and nothing is ever too much trouble.

Marian is absolutely passionate about people having choice and control over their lives. She is a great proponent of person centred support, maximising abilities and supported decision making. She is a great facilitator and able to link peoples aspirations and goals to what might best enable them to happen. She is always willing to go the extra mile, not afraid of the hard questions or thinking outside the square and will advocate strongly where and when required. Her wealth of knowledge and connections are a huge asset to the Leadership Team.

Elaine Marshall

Elaine joined the Real World Living Team mid 2018 in a project management role. Her main focus is on the refinement and continued development of a centralised continuous quality improvement system for the organisation. Her skills were also utilised to assist with our successful submission to ACC for the new Living My Life Service in July 2018.

Elaine’s has a background in medical research and senior management in the aged care sector.

Elaine is passionate about treating everyone with respect, having integrity and maintaining each person’s dignity whatever the challenges that person faces. She is a serious proponent of staff training and having policies and procedures in place that enable staff to work to the best of their ability and to support our clients to enjoy best practice service. Her extensive management experience and her enquiring mind bring an added dimension to the Leadership team.