ANZASW is a membership based organisation and as such the members ultimately control the direction of the organisation. They do this through attendance and voting on an annual basis at the Annual General Meeting. In addition to this all members belong to either a local branch or a roopu. At this level members can run events on behalf of members, debate issues of local or national concern and ask the national ANZASW Board members to provide a national response to these issues if necessary.  In addition the Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa – the Māori Caucus of ANZASW, represents the concerns of Tangata Whenua members of the Association.

Board Functions

The Board’s responsibility is the governance of ANZASW i.e.:

The exercise of corporate  leadership through the  establishment and monitoring of  necessary controls and strategic direction setting so that the organisation is equipped to respond to the changing circumstances and situations in the external and internal environments in order to meet the expectations and demands of owners (Members) and other key stakeholders.

In brief, governance involves the Board in the process of ensuring that Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers is well managed without the Board itself becoming involved in the operations, except as required by its legislation or as a consequence of exceptional circumstances.

(Board Charter adopted May 2010).

The governance of ANZASW is vested with a minimum of 6 and a maxumum of 9 members . Seven members of the Board are elected by ANZASW members and a further two can be co-opted by the Board to ensure an appropriate mix of skills and experience. The current members of the ANZASW Board are:

  1. Five members elected by the membership.
  2. Two members elected by the Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa.
  3. Up to two people, not necessarily members, who are co-opted by the ANZASW Board to provide specialised skills that the Board considers are needed to enable it to more effectively govern the Association.

Board Terms of Office and Elections

Board members will serve a two year term of office and they may be re-elected.

General Membership Election

The ANZASW Board includes five General Membership positions, for a two-year term.  Nominations are open to Full members, so long as all membership obligations have been met.  Members are invited to send their Expression of Interest to National Office, along with their CV, a brief bio and an explanation of the skills that they would bring to the Board (Election Statement).  A letter of support from another Full member may also accompany the Expression of Interest.

The elections may be held as either a postal or electronic ballot to enable members to cast their vote. Candidate biographies and election statements will be supplied with voting forms in October.  National Office keeps a tally of the votes, with the successful candidates announced in time for ratification at the Annual General Meeting, to be held in lat October-December each year.

Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa Election

Two (2) members are nominated and endorsed by Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa, ratified by a General Meeting.

The Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa process provides a mechanism for input into the election of Tangata Whenua Board Members from all members through their Roopu and for a final nomination and endorsement to be made based on a consensus from a National Tangata Whenua Hui. The candidate/s are endorsed at a General Meeting of the Association.

In the event that the National Tangata Whenua Hui is not held, the election process will follow the general membership election process.


Up to two people, not necessarily members, who are co-opted by the Governance Board to provide specialised skills that the Board considers are needed to enable it to more effectively govern the Association.

The Standing Orders: Board Charter requires the Board to establish a number of committees with specific responsibilities for aspects of good governance.

Financial Committee 

The Whole Board

Risk Audit Committee 
  • Gray Hughson – Chair
  • Kohi Waihi
  • Rose Henderson
CE Employment Committee 
  • Sally Dalhousie – Chair
  • Rose Henderson
IFSW Aotearoa New Zealand Co-ordinating Body Delegates
  • Rose Henderson
  • Peter Matthewson
  • Shannon Pakura
  • Sally Dalhousie


2019-2020 ANZASW Board (contact via


2019 Board member: Sharyn RobertsSharyn Roberts – ANZASW President

Employer: Te Ora Hou
Location: Christchurch

Ko Whakapūnake te mātau a Māui tikitiki a Taranga, ko Aoraki ngā maunga

Ko Te Wairoa hōpūpū hōnengenenge matangirau te awa

Ko Te Ara a Kewa te moana

Ko Tākitimu, ko Uruao ngā waka

He uri ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha

Ko Ngāti Hikakawa, Ngāti Koropi, Oraka Aparima, Ngāi Tuahuriri ngā hapū

Ko Henare rāua ko Coral ōku mātua

Ko Sharyn Roberts tōku ingoa

Sharyn Roberts is a Tangata Whenua Social Worker and is the Social Work Manager at Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi, a Kaupapa Māori Youth Development Organisation located in Christchurch, New Zealand where she has worked for the past 12 years. As well as managing a team of Whānau Ora, Community Workers and Social Workers, Sharyn facilitates cultural professional development training, and provides individual external supervision, which includes social work students on placement. Sharyn’s area of interest is Māori succeeding as Māori, and is currently completing her thesis for the Masters of Social Work at Massey University.

ANZASW President: Sally Dalhousie Sally Dalhousie– ANZASW Vice President

Employer: The Fono
Location: Auckland

Current Position/Time there:

Chief Operating Officer / The Fono, Auckland / 10 years

Short description of what you do:

  • Responsible for the overall operations of NZ’s largest Pacific community owned NGO. We deliver a range of medical, dental, public health, education and social services across 8 sites in Auckland and Northland.

Any additional activities/Involvements:

  • Pasifika Social Workers Interest Group Convenor, ANZASW
  • Board member, Waitakere Improving School Attendance Programme
  • Editorial Board member, Social Service Providers Aotearoa


  • PGDip in Social Welfare, PGDip in Social Services, BA

Areas of Interest:

  • Pacific community building
  • Ongoing improvement (micro, macro, meso, cultural)
  • Savouring time with my family and friends


Board member 2019: Wyllis Russell

Wyllis Russell – Manawhenua
Elected by Tangata Whenua, term ends 2021
Employer: Across Te Kohitanga o te Wairua
Location: Palmerston North

Qualifications:  Bachelor of Social Work (Hons),  Accredited Triple P Practitioner

I am currently employed by ACROSS whom hold the Strengthening Families Contract for Manawatu under the Ministry of Social Development.

I have been working for ACROSS since 2006 whereby I undertook a placement as a Massey university  4th year student completing the Bachelor of Social Work.  I have remained at ACROSS as a Social Worker for 6 yrs, followed the last 6 years working as the Strengthening Families Co-ordinator in this Region.

My previous vocations has been working for my Iwi in Gisborne, Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa in social work for 10 years, whereby  I firstly gained the experience and qualifications working with our people and other cultures,  starting the journey to become qualified in social work, completing the BSW.  Previous to that working for Government departments and Non govt agencies.

Other additional activities I am involved in, is spending time with a very busy whanau.  As a wife, mother to five busy sons, daughter in laws and 10 grandchildren and the arrival in April of another grandson, living in Sydney and first great grandson arrived earlier this year.

Also sports supporting our mokopuna wherever that may be.   I am also an ardent rugby fan having 5 sons and taking them all to rugby when they were young. Now it’s the mokopunas time.  When at home, I enjoy gardening and the outdoors.

My husband and I are busy on Sundays, attending church meetings and visiting others.

During the week – currently serving on Te Whakaruruhau Maori Womens Refuge in Palmerston North and Chairperson for Manawhenua Roopu Maori Social Workers in Manawatu.

I am very happy to serve on the Board as a Member of ANZASW elected as a tangata whenua member at this time,  supporting our social workers profession.   I look forward to the coming year serving.

2019 Board Member: Kohi WaihiKohi Waihi
Re-elected unopposed 2019
Employer Oranga Tamariki
Location: Wellington

Ko Hikurangi, Ko Makeo Oku Maunga’

Ko Waiapu, Ko Waiaua Oku Iwi

Ko Whangara Mai Tawhiti me Omaramutu oku Marae

Ko Ngāti Kanohi, Ko Ngāti Rua oku Hapū

Ko Ngāti Porou, Ko te Whakatohea Oku Iwi

Ko Kohi Waihi Tōku Ingoa

My current role: Senior Māori Practice Advisor in the professional practice group in the chief social workers in Oranga Tamariki. This is a newly created role within the office of the chief social workers office in Oranga Tamariki.

I started my career in the community in Hawke’s Bay and then moved in statutory social work in the previous organisation child, youth and family service.

My interests are supporting and encouraging Māori Social work practitioners practice tangata whenua models of practice with tangata whenua to improve the outcomes for their Whānau, Hapū and Iwi. I am passionate and supportive of tangata whenua practices being adopted in western systems to improve outcomes overall  Whānau Māori, Hapū and Iwi.



Gray Hughson
Co-opted until 2021 AGM
Employer: Retired
Location: Wellington

I assist organisations to realise their potential by ensuring their compliance systems are robust, management reporting is relevant and practical, and by promoting a better understanding of governance and strategic issues to ensure their sustainable growth.


I have served on various boards since 2000 and I also volunteer on several boards.

I have industry experience, owned & operated & advised several finance companies. I have accounting, cash-flow management, strategic planning & business advisory skills alongside strong financial literacy & a track record of managing & monitoring financial health of organisations.

I think of myself as a team player but able to challenge the status quo and think laterally to develop strategic solutions.

Braden Clark
Elected 2019
Employer: Oranga Tamariki
Location: Wellington

I have worked for Oranga Tamariki for the past 3.5 years and have held roles as a social worker and supervisor previously.  I have previously worked as a social worker in an NGO.  In my current role, I provide advice and support in relation to implementing best practice.  I am passionate about child protection social work and the professions role within this.

Quals:   Bachelor of Business Studies (Management); Master of Applied Social Work; Grad Diploma Arts (Psychology)

Areas of Interest:

I am interested in strengthening the social work profession and bringing structural and systemic changes in order to improve outcomes.  I am studying towards my Doctor of Social Work – my research will focus on how child protection social workers address experiences of childhood adversity using a neuro-developmental perspective.


Vaughan Milner
Elected 2019
Employer: Retired
Location: Canterbury

I am a registered social worker and long standing member of ANZASW. I have recently retired after 45 years in the  state and community social service sectors. My predominant practice area has been in management both in the old DSW/NZCYPS and then with Presbyterian Support, latterly as CEO of Presbyterian Support Upper South Island. I have also been active  in policy advocacy nationally through NZCCSS and Government Advisory groups. I  was Chair of the Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal of the SWRB for seven years. I am currently chair of Restorative Justice Otautahi Christchurch and have been involved on that Board for at least 10 years.

My partner Jane is also a social worker and teaches at the University of Canterbury. I have two adult sons and two grandchildren who are part Māori with affiliations to Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungungu and Ngai Te Rangi.My interests outside of family are  reading, writing, running, gardening, and fishing.

Vicki Hirst
Elected 2019
Private Practice
Location: Auckland

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Ko Tararua te māunga

Ko Hōkio te moana

Ko Levin ahau


Ko Neil rāua ko Rosetta Marshall ōku mātua

Ko Vicki Hirst tōku ingoa

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

I joined ANZASW in 1982 and have remained a member since because I believe as a professional it is important to belong to your professional body – for connection, development, advocacy, support and accountability. We need to ensure our professional body is relevant and sustainable for all social workers.

I am a Pakeha New Zealander, who has been in full time private practice since 1996. I currently have the privilege of working with around 65 social workers, many of whom are in management and professional leadership roles in a diverse range of  social work agencies and fields of practice. My qualifications and experience includes social work, supervision, human resource management, leadership, management and organisational change and development.

I have a particular interest in supervision and have been a trainer, lecturer, publisher, conference presenter, organiser and convenor in this field. I was Chairperson of the SWRB Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal for six years until 2015 and a member from 2006. Earlier employment includes more than 15 years with Child, Youth and Family, as a residential social worker, care and protection social worker, trainer, practice consultant and in various acting management roles. I have also been an assessor for Massey University, a lecturer at Auckland University and Manukau Institute of Technology and a course content reviewer for Open Polytechnic, New Zealand.

I am married to Graeme, we have two adult daughters Katie and Ruby, and currently live in Auckland with plans to move north. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, fishing, reading, gardening and walking on the beach or in the bush.

I am delighted to serve as a member of the ANZASW Board.

  • Brownie & Pare Rauwhero

The operational work of ANZASW is managed by a small paid team, most of whom are based in the National Office in Christchurch. The team currently consists of:

In addition, ANZASW has contracts with a number of members who undertake key areas of operational work on behalf of the Association. The areas of work include:

  • Editing Publications
  • Continuing Professional Development