Bellyful Board Of Trustees

Michelle Kitney

Board Chair/Trustee

Michelle Kitney is the Kaihautū Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand, where she has been part of the senior leadership team since 2018. Michelle is passionate about working collaboratively and with impact in the for-purpose sector. She has a range of experience including regulatory and compliance, marketing communications and social marketing, engagement, and research. She has also volunteered extensively in community organisations that provide services and support to whānau and children.

Michelle and her husband Andy have three boys, and live in Miramar. As a mum of twins Michelle knows how valuable the support of Bellyful can be to families in the early days.

Email: [email protected]

Carolyn Stiles


Carolyn is super excited to join the Board of such an amazing, caring organisation. Having had bit of a rough start to motherhood herself (her son unexpectedly arrived 10 weeks premature, when she had only lived in NZ for 10 weeks and didn’t have a support network around her!) she understands all too well the value of the Bellyful service.

Carolyn brings significant management and governance experience having held senior roles in the UK corporate world and more recently worked for leading NZ organisations’s namely SportsMed in Canterbury and Cholmondeley Children’s Centre. A past non-exec director of Gymnastics NZ, Carolyn is also a current Trustee for a new education charitable trust for Diamond Harbour School. Carolyn’s extensive work experience is supported by academic achievement, she holds a MBA (with distinction) and has completed the NZ Institute of Director’s Director Development programme.

In her spare time and with her family Carolyn loves the great NZ outdoors. A keen mountain biker her other non family passion is her dog, a fabulous Bearded Collie and they volunteer as a pet therapy team, visiting people with dementia in a local care home.

Email: [email protected]

Karalyn Van Deursen


Karalyn has more than 25 years’ experience working in advertising, marketing and communications.

She is currently Executive Director Communications – Canterbury DHB and West Coast, a role she’s held since February 2011.

Prior this she was a senior advisor at the Ministry of Health. She has extensive health sector experience, having worked for Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and has also spent time working in the office of the Minister of Health. She was a self-employed communications consultant for many years, working for a wide range of clients. She has considerable experience in crisis communications, branding, external and internal communications, stakeholder engagement and working with media. Karalyn is a member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand, and the International Association of Business Communicators.

When not at work, she loves cooking, gardening, walking, travelling and spending time with family and friends. She has two daughters, two step-daughters and a grand-daughter.

Rachel Pearce


Rachel is passionate about babies and children having the best possible start in life. For most of her career, Rachel has worked in women’s and children’s health in a range of governance, policy and project roles in Australia, the UK and Aotearoa. Currently, Rachel manages the families and wellbeing portfolio within the strategic funding team at Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards.

As an experienced public servant, Rachel is aware that government services sometimes struggle to provide the practical, responsive support whanau need. Recognising the enormous contribution of organisations like Bellyful toward supporting thriving whanau and communities, Rachel has been involved with a number of not for profits supporting women and families, in Director and volunteer roles.

Outside of work, Rachel loves to tramp, especially the hills and coast around Wellington; cooking for friends; and learning about wine.

Email: [email protected]

Sharyn Richardson


With 20 years of project management, team development, recruitment and strategic planning behind her, Sharyn is passionate about building teams and ensuring that everyone feels supported to do the absolute best job that they can do. She is currently the Asia Pacific General Manager of Professional Services for a leading emergency management software provider.

Sharyn has over ten years of governance experience in the education sector, and understands how crucial great leadership is to an organisation. She has seen what a difference Bellyful makes to so many families at critical times in their lives and feels very privileged to be part of the team.

Living in Wellington with her husband, three children, a dog, a cat, five chickens and two fish, Sharyn loves spending time outdoors, tramping and camping with friends and visiting her family in the deep south.

Email: [email protected]

Sally Robinson


Sally is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with a postgraduate diploma in Financial Analysis from Victoria University. She has more than a decade of experience working with organisations going through business transformation or evolving from a start-up to a much bigger scale, and 20 years’ experience working with Boards and various volunteering roles.

Sally is passionate about the welfare and mental health of families and children and was previously at Children’s Health camps (now Stand Children’s Services) before six years at Powershop Energy as it scaled up in size.

Originally from Taranaki, she now lives in Wellington with her husband, two teenage children and the family Labrador. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Onslow College.

Email: [email protected]

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