National board

David Bromell, Chair

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.

Catherine Neill, Deputy Chair

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.

Gurbrinder Aulakh

I have more than 20 years’ combined overseas and New Zealand experience in the field of law.

A lawyer at a High Court in India, I was also an executive committee member of the High Court Bar and on the panel of boards, authorities and corporations. I have a degree in law and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Communication Skills and Sociology.

Having studied and requalified in New Zealand, and been admitted as a barrister and solicitor at the High Court in Auckland, I worked at law firms on the North Shore and central Auckland, before joining a city-based law firm with a focus on litigation. I now run a private practice and am on the committee of the Auckland District Law Society.

I served as the Deputy-Chair of the Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) for five years. I have advised many social and community organisations and have been on ethnic media discussing community and legal issues. I have also advised the Indian High Commission to New Zealand on legal matters.

I am fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.

I have had a long association with English Language Partners as an ESOL home tutor, committee member and chair of the North Shore centre, a member of the Ethnic Advisory Group and as a member of the National Board.

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. For the last 11 years I have worked in the tertiary sector managing research programmes and conducting research and evaluation. I currently work as an independent contractor, and also for Heathrose Research and the Industry Training Federation.

My main area of work is in adult literacy and numeracy where my focus has been on the economic and social 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

My 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!

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.

Sophie Ngo

I came to New Zealand from Vietnam. I have been in the journey of learning and mastering English through study and work. I hope to  to give back to the community by drawing on my extensive experience delivering information technology modernisation and business transformation projects. I share the vision, missions and values of English Language Partners, and as a Board member, I am keen to contribute through setting and overseeing strategic directions for ELPNZ’s advancement and long-term business sustainability.

I have a Master in Business Management and a Bachelor with Honours in Accounting. My commercial experience ranges from Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, Finance, Financial Services, Logistics, to Cyber Security. I am currently a member of the Institute of Directors (New Zealand) and working towards becoming a chartered member through a formal training program offered by the Institute.

Jane von Dadelszen

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.

Nicola Sutton, Chief Executive

I have been Chief Executive of English Language Partners since 2011. Prior to that, I was Deputy Chief Executive for several years.

I have been involved with the organisation for the past two decades in a variety of paid and voluntary roles. I trained as a volunteer ESOL home tutor in Auckland West in the mid-1990’s and through this work I gained an insight into the challenges newcomers with limited or no English language skills encounter on a daily basis. I have worked with three families who all arrived here from war-torn nations. Through my work as a home tutor I became involved in developing resource libraries in three of our Auckland centres, used my finance background to carry out accounting and fundraising work, and was a programme coordinator and teacher in our Christchurch centre.

I was elected to the National Board in 1999 and took on the role of Chair in 2001, a position I held until 2007. During this time, I completed a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management and used the knowledge to train our centre committees in governance.

Prior to my work with ELPNZ I spent time raising four sons as a stay-at-home mother. My previous work had been in financial administration, complaints resolution, and project management for a funding organisation.

I have a Master in Commerce and Administration (Distinction) from Victoria University.