Our People


Our counsellors are all members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.


Janet has been a counsellor in community agencies since 2008. She particularly enjoys working with older people, and the life experience they bring to the challenges they face.
She is a long-time Wellington resident, having brought up a family here.
She has travelled widely and is interested in tramping, gardening, reading and spending time with family and friends.


Brent comes to WellElder as a relationship counsellor, specialising in non violent communication and building respectful and emotionally safe relationships. He is an experienced group work facilitator and trainer in the field of, non violence, anger management, conflict resolution and assertiveness. Brent has trained as a Narrative Therapist and more recently as a Mindfulness Based Meditation Teacher. Brent comes to his counselling practice not only with an extensive skill set but has also personally experienced grief of losing his wife Karen to breast cancer and this life experience brings compassion and understanding to his work. Brent has remarried, now living in Waikanae Beach. He is a keen cyclist, tennis player, dog walker, bush walker, vegetable gardener and community participant


Rosemary is a member of NZAC, a Wellingtonian and Kiwi by choice, and mother of two young adults.
She particularly enjoys leading WellElder groups and appreciates the strengths and resourcefulness older adults have in addressing late life issues. Before becoming a counsellor she worked as a manager, mainly in the public service.


Sue has been a counsellor for over thirty years starting with Marriage Guidance and Family Court Counselling in Timaru. She completed her teaching career as a Secondary School Guidance Counsellor. Since moving to Wellington with her husband ten years ago to be close to three of their four children and ten of their thirteen grandchildren she has enjoyed the variety, challenges and the experience that older clients bring to counselling. She enjoys biking, swimming, and being part of two Wellington choirs.


Joanna has worked as a counsellor for over 30 years, in the tertiary education sector and in private practice. She enjoys working with people to help them identify the changes they can make in their lives, and the strategies they can use to begin to make those changes. In her free time, she is a potter and a craftsperson, and enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with her partner and family.

WellElder Office


Uma is an experienced change, Relationship, Strategy and people management professional. After a long stint with the NZ public sector she now works for not for profit sector and public sector. She is committed to serve this sector with enthusiasm and energy. She is looking forward to making a difference at Well Elder.
A natural problem solver and networker she believes authentic collaboration has positive outcomes. She enjoys coaching others to find their insights meaningfully. She serves on the board of Shakti Community Council and Birthright.


Constanze comes from a background in publishing and working in different coordinator roles. After looking after her children she is now enjoying being part of the WellElder team. She lives in Newtown and has two children at Berhampore School. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors.

Board of Trustees

Board members volunteer their time to WellElder



Verna has extensive experience in leadership roles in not-for-profit and community organisations, complemented by her past work as a registered social worker and academic. Her special interests over the years have been in the areas of ageing and dementia support. Now as an older woman, she loves the company of her family and friends and making the most of the many opportunities and challenges that ageing brings. Since becoming chair in 2014, Verna has committed her time to helping sustain and grow the strong base of affordable counselling services that WellElder offers to older people in the Wellington region.


A retired public servant, who worked mostly in policy and management roles in central government, tertiary education and in libraries. Chief interests are in organisational effectiveness and strategy, and how to build workplaces that are both humane and effective. He is supporting a 96 year old mother, and joined the board in 2015.


Ann is Co-ordinator of Age Concern Wellington, providing support services to over 65s and liaising with other community groups.
She joined the WellElder board in 2010.
Her previous role (in the UK) was in recruitment, especially in the financial/banking sector.


A counsellor for over 30 years, Jane is a Life Member of NZAC. She juggles her private practice with looking after her delightful grandson.
With a background in secondary and tertiary education, her passion is "helping people become the person they wish to be".
She joined the board in 2012.


Graham is a counsellor and trainer with experience in education and in church ministry.
His interest in the counselling needs of older persons led him to join with others to start WellElder.
He has been the chairperson since the establishment committee first met until 2014.


Diana has a work background in recreation and sport for health benefits and retired in 2017 after eight years at the Ministry of Health. For several years Diana was involved with the NZ Association of Gerontology in a voluntary capacity. She joined the WellElder board in June 2018.


Kia ora, I am Daphne Pilaar, born and raised in Wellington to Dutch parents. I live in Newtown with my husband Keith and have 5 adult children and 3 grandchildren. I have spent most of my working life in education, as a primary school teacher, adult educator and facilitator of projects focused on improving the wellbeing of both young and old. I am an active member of Drama Christi - a community theatre, Crows feet - a women's dance collective with wonderful, wise and inspiring elders.


Bill worked as a trade union negotiator for eighteen years, followed by fifteen years in employment relations for various large organisations. He is retired and, like many in his position, does voluntary work for community groups. The provision of quality health support and service for older people is a vital need in our society and is a special interest for him. He joined the Board in 2015 and is committed to its aims and objectives.

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