The Trust Team
Chief Executive Officer
Christine has extensive global experience in the Marketing and Advertising Industries. She has worked for heavy weights such as Unilever Europe, the Olympics, and Paspaley Pearls.
After the earthquakes, Christine decided it was time for a new career challenge. Leaving her role as CEO for Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism to work for St John in a commercial and fundraising role. It then seemed like a logical move to join the Rescue Helicopter / Flying Doctor Trusts as their CEO.
“I wanted to continue to try and help in some way. On a personal level, it is great to get up each day thinking about new ways we can keep the service running. We have a great team of very supportive Trustees and a wonderful team here at the Trust who make this happen.”
Rachael has worked for the Rescue Helicopter Trust for over 20 years. She started out providing admin support for the Telemarketing Fundraising Programme, working her way to the position of General Manager. “I enjoy being part of an incredible team, working hard to provide a world-class Rescue Helicopter and Air Ambulance service for the Canterbury and West Coast communities.”
Experiences that stands out for Rachael were the 2011 and 2016 earthquakes. It was a particularly challenging time for the rescue crews, as well as the wider GCH Aviation and Rescue Helicopter Trust team.
“In order to manage the huge workload the team really had to pull together to support each other, the camaraderie was incredible.”
Air Rescue Development Manager
Barbara has 20 years of sales experience, across Real Estate, Advertising, and the NZ Blood Service. This, combined with her love for meeting people drew her to work for the Rescue Helicopter Trust. Barbara’s role sees her raising funds through contact with corporate sponsors, schools, and clubs.
“Coming up with new ideas and ways of promoting our cause through a variety of channels with an end result of raising funds is a great challenge, certainly one that keeps us all busy!”
Through her role, Barbara gets to meet generous supporters from the wider community and it is these experiences that stand out for her. Recently, Barbara has worked with a group of High Schools students’, the ‘One School Network’. They collectively got behind our cause, “working with them was an inspiration, the students were incredibly enthusiastic about supporting us.”
Michael has been a professional fundraiser for over 5 years. He was with St John and the last 2 years with the Rescue Helicopter Trust. Michael brings over 25 years of project management experience across multiple sectors. These include advertising, human resources and technology to his fundraising and has worked in the UK, US and NZ. Michael’s role is to develop the giving programmes.
“It’s fantastic to be working in Christchurch as it rebuilds as a conscious, caring community. I love connecting individuals and businesses with this critical service so that people can live their lives to the fullest and feel proud that they are making a real difference in their community.”
Lea has a broad creative background spanning 8 years. She has worked in a diverse range of industries’ such as freelancing, Commercial Development, and Health Care. The ultimate goal for her is working for this prominent charity. "I love the diversity of the role and the fact our work has such an impact on our community."
Meeting patients and hearing their stories is always a memorable experience for Lea, “hearing their gratitude and the getting to know the patients’ perspective of the service is invaluable.” She also gets to see the crew's perspective, having tagged along on numerous training exercises. “Seeing the rigorous training the Crew undertake really puts into perspective the extreme conditions they work under."
Liz is one of the Trust’s longest standing team members (after Rachael). She looks after the office as well as processing donations and helping our generous donors with any inquiries they may have.
Having worked in Administration across a variety of industries Liz was motivated to join the Rescue Helicopter Trust, “knowing that raising money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter would help so many people in life-threatening situations.”
Liz finds meeting the Rescue Helicopter patients’ and supporters very rewarding. ”Speaking to people who have used our service and seeing how grateful they are always put things into perspective.”
Whitney is the Trust’s newest team member bringing 3 years’ fundraising experience from Life Flight Trust in Wellington. Joining the Canterbury West Coast Rescue Helicopter Trust means Whitney can continue to help people, “something I had missed doing when I initially moved down from Wellington.”
Looking after donor inquiries and donations as well as assisting the team in a variety of areas suits Whitney love of meeting new people, “whether it’s patients with their incredible life-changing stories or the generous supporters who help keep the service going, it’s the people who make all the difference to the Service.”