National board

Karun Shenoy, Chair

Karun Shenoy

I was born in India and I emigrated to New Zealand in 1988, having spent a couple of years in Singapore en route. My professional career has largely been in the Information Technology industry. This has included roles spanning management of major $100 million-plus technology programmes through to founding a tech start-up.

I have operated my own IT consulting company for over twenty years, providing programme and project management services as well as business transformation consultancy. I am currently on the board of Angel HQ (with members investing in early-stage companies) and have also been on advisory boards for start-ups.

I have worked as a mentor for ELPNZ’s Job Mentoring Services for a few years. I have also volunteered as a business mentor helping small businesses through the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and as a student mentor in the IT Professionals TechHub career evangelist programme.

I am fluent in English, Hindi, Konkani and Tamil, and have basic skills in several other Indian languages, although my attempts to learn Mandarin, Japanese and French have not been particularly successful!

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Computer Science) and a Master’s in Business Administration.

My recreational interests include trekking (have tramped the NZ Great Walks, and trekked Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kinabalu), cycling, skiing, travel (have explored the seven continents but the bucket list keeps growing), watching sports and the performing arts.

Jane von Dadelszen, Deputy Chair

I am an independent consultant providing advice and analysis to government agencies and educational organisations in New Zealand and internationally. I’m a council member of the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ), a member of the HKCAAVQ taskforce reviewing accreditation criteria and standards and a member of the Primary ITO Board.

Until December 2015, I was Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance, at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), responsible for regulating the quality of tertiary and vocational education and the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Previously, for ten years, I led tertiary education policy at the Ministry of Education.

My government experience also includes senior management, policy advice and research on gender issues, crime and justice issues, family violence, child protection, alcohol and drug issues, and climate change and natural resource management.

I’m currently a volunteer mentor for the First Foundation and for the Women in National Security project. I also provide voluntary strategy advice to Zealandia wildlife sanctuary.

I have a Master in Psychology from Otago University and I also enjoy gardening, travel in New Zealand and internationally, tramping, reading, films, conversation and ideas.

Catherine Neill


I was born in New Zealand, but my family migrated to England when I was 11. I came back in 2004 with my own family, and I have lived in Temuka, a small rural township in South Canterbury, ever since. I have a BA (Hons) in Combined Studies from the University of Liverpool, and when I graduated I joined Portsmouth City Council as a trainee. I qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in the UK and I now work as an auditor.

I have a good grounding in the not-for-profit sector. In addition to my current professional involvement with charitable organisations, I worked for the local education authority in Portsmouth, I was a high school bursar for 3 years, I have been on the PTA at my son’s primary and high schools, I am on the Board of Trustees at the high school and I am the treasurer of a regional sports partnership.

I joined the committee of the Aoraki centre as the treasurer and have also served as the committee chair. I am a volunteer home tutor and I look forward to learning something new every lesson. I have been on the National Board since May 2014.

Anne Alkema

I am a researcher and evaluator who has worked in a variety of roles across the education sector. It started with roles on kindergarten and primary school committees, then as a secondary school English teacher and Head of Department. Following this came roles as a public servant with the Ministry of Education, one of which was to manage literacy and numeracy in the school sector. This was followed by an education role with New Zealand police. For the last 14 years I have worked in the tertiary sector managing research programmes and conducting research and evaluation.

I currently work as an independent researcher. My main area of work is in adult literacy and numeracy where my focus has been on the economic, social and wellbeing impact of New Zealand government policies and the extent to which these policy settings are working for foundation learners. I have also conducted research and evaluation in policing, the health sector, the transport sector and the volunteer sector.

I hold a Master of Education from Victoria University of Wellington. Outside of work I love spending time with my grandchildren; on the golf course; and in the garden.

Kara Scally-Irvine

Kara_Scally-Irvine_ELPNZMy day job is working as a consultant in research, monitoring frameworks, and evaluation. My work regularly extends into strategy, policy, and planning.

I work across a range of sectors including sport and recreation, health, education, land and property information, and regulatory systems, in both not-for-profits and government agencies, both in New Zealand, and in international development.

I’ve worked in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors, and completed my PhD in international development and conservation, which involved living and working in Cambodia for a period of time. Prior to this, I lived in Japan, teaching English.

I’m passionate about the power of good quality information and the role evaluators play in this. My involvement with the evaluation profession is an important part of this. I’m a member of the Australian Evaluation Society New Zealand regional committee, and recently became the New Zealand Regional Convenor, representing and working for New Zealand members together with the Australian regional branches.

My association with ELPNZ dates from 2015 when I supported the team to develop their Outcomes Model, and to establish the Evaluative Self-Assessment system – a concept at the core of NZQA’s evaluative quality assurance framework. I was also familiar with ELPNZ’s volunteer ESOL Home Tutoring programme, through my voluntary work as a refugee resettlement volunteer. I’ve been a passionate sideline supporter of ELPNZ’s work ever since, and have been privileged to continue this support in a more active role as a National Board member since 2015.

I have my PhD is from the University of Queensland, and a BSc, BComm, and Post-graduate Diploma in Environmental Science from the University of Otago. When I’m not tied-up with my work and voluntary commitments, my husband and I spend quality time with our two children. I also love trail running and getting out in our beautiful environment, or sitting down and doing absolutely nothing!

Mark Bryan

Mark Bryan ELPNZ

Although I have travelled extensively around the world, I moved to New Zealand from the UK in 1995, finally settling in Southland in 1997. I developed a strong governance capability following a successful career as a veterinarian.  I grew our business from a small, 6-vet local practice to a large, international veterinary business employing over 200 staff. Our business attracts significant immigrants from around 15 different countries, and typically over half of our employees are from overseas. My focus has been on taking on good people and making them better, watching them grow and develop, and providing an excellent service for clients. Business growth has been secondary to that.

From a governance perspective, I have been involved for around 15 years on the boards of NFPs and commercial organisations. I have played an active role at Board level in the New Zealand Veterinary Association as we have transitioned through a period of significant change and challenge. I am a Member of the IOD and have completed both their Company Directors’ course and their Finance course.

I have a BVMS from Glasgow University Veterinary School, and well as a MVS Hons (Epidemiology) from Massey University and a MACVSc (Epidemiology) from the Australian College.

I live with my wife and children on a 1400 head sheep farm in Southland, which we farm with the help of our manager; and we also have interests in a dairy farm in Southland.   I am a keen skier, mountaineer, mountain biker and surfer.

Li Ling Ho

Li Ling Ho ELP

I was born in Singapore and migrated to New Zealand when I was six. I was again in Singapore for a few high school years, but have been living in Wellington ever since I returned. I have empathy, understanding and respect for the work in the migrant sector. I strongly support and believe in the importance of culture, languages, social connections, lifelong learning and educational opportunities.

I have a BCA in Accounting, Commercial Law and Information Systems from Victoria University of Wellington, and qualified as an Associate Chartered Accountant member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. I have built skills and gained experience in commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Working experience has included management and establishment of NZ’s first food rescue organisation, building an interaction-based language school and development of a multi-level programme from toddler ages and up, performance planning and analysis in the disability sector. Most recently, I was a finance manager helping with support services and properties for a social service and community development organisation. I have been on the National Board since May 2020 and hope to add value and help where I can.

I live with my children in a city suburb of Wellington. Outside of work, family and voluntary commitments, I am involved in anything creative or design-related, and both contemporary and K-Pop dance. I also really enjoy nature, business, learning new things, and am a foodie.

Susan Warren

Susan Warren ELP

I am the Chief Executive of COMET Auckland which is a council controlled organisation and independent charitable trust with responsibility to drive systems change that makes education and skills development more effective and equitable across Auckland.  I am an active member of the Institute of Directors, with eight years’ governance experience across three organisations, in addition to a long career in various leadership roles across not-for-profit, government and corporate organisations.

I am constantly aware of the wisdom and connections our board members bring and am keen to use my own governance and leadership experience to support other organisations that are making a difference in Aotearoa.

From my role with COMET Auckland I have extensive connections in Tāmaki Makaurau and beyond, including both local and national government, all sectors of the education system, employers and community organisations.  I also have successful experience in strategic leadership, innovation, handling uncertainty and the community sector in general.

I am passionate about the power of lifelong learning (in all its forms) to empower people to reach their own aspirations, and also to contribute to the social cohesion, equity and wellbeing of themselves, their families and communities.  I acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of our nation; and seek to practice and support a bicultural Aotearoa as a foundation for celebrating our multicultural and increasingly super-diverse community.

I have formerly worked in schooling improvement in south Auckland and nationally with the Ministry of Education and maintain strong links with Māori and Pasifika communities in my current role.  I value the role of languages in people’s lives and have led the Auckland Languages Strategy Working Group over a long period.

I have a BSc(Hons) in biochemistry and physiology from Otago, a Secondary Teaching Diploma from Dunedin Teachers College, and a DipEd and a MEd from Massey University.

David Bromell


I have been a Principal Advisor in the Strategic Policy team at Environment Canterbury since July 2013. From 2003-13 I worked in policy advice roles in the Ministry of Social Development in Wellington and was acting Chief Policy Advisor 2012-13.
Prior to 2003, I worked in church social services and parish ministry. I have previous board experience as executive director of the Christchurch Methodist Mission (1998-2003), and on the Rehua Marae Trust Board, the Lifeline Christchurch Charitable Trust Board, the Christchurch Council of Christian Social Services Trust Board, the Otago-Southland Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board and the Archer Memorial Home Trust Board.

I have also worked in the tertiary education sector, as a tutor and lecturer at Otago University (1986-93), as Executive Officer of the Oamaru Campus of Otago Polytechnic (1993-96), and (on secondment) as Chief Policy Analyst in the Tertiary Group of the Ministry of Education (2008). I am a Senior Associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in the School of Government at Victoria University (since 2008), and since 2012 have taught a course in political philosophy in the School’s Master of Public Policy programme. One of my research interests is ethnicity, identity and public policy, and I am a member of the NZ Political Studies Association and of the Population Association of New Zealand.

I have a PhD and BDHons in Theology and an MA in History.

I have been a volunteer ESOL home tutor (in Porirua and Christchurch) with English Language Partners since 2010.

James McCulloch – Chief Executive

James McCulloch - English Language Partners Chief Executive

Before joining ELPNZ in December, 2020, James worked for Inspire Group, as their Director of Learning and Chief Executive for Asia, where he worked in many of the countries that ELPNZ’s learners are from. Prior to that, James held Chief Executive roles in the NGO sector in New Zealand and the UK and was also Community Director at the City of London. He has also chaired global federations and is a regular international keynote presenter and panellist on people, culture and learning.