Meet our team
Learn why we love the work we do.
The Family Works Central team truly cares about children, families and whānau. We’re passionate about building strong, safe, connected communities and creating opportunities for individuals.
Muhammad Naseem (Joe) Asghar
Chief Executive, Presbyterian Support Central
Joe Asghar’s multi-layered experience spans health and government and includes roles at the Royal Society of New Zealand, Diabetes NZ, ACC and Physiotherapy NZ.
Actively involved in a range of community groups and networks, Joe does volunteer work with the homeless, is a Justice of the Peace, chair of Te Awakairangi Health Network, a member of the Pharmacy Council Professional Conduct Committee and General Practice NZ Strategic Council. He’s also heavily involved with Rotary and the Onslow Community Church in Ngaio, Wellington.
He considers the work of PSC and its amazing team as essential in today’s society where those in need are often overlooked or left alone. Joe is driven by the objects of the organisation to be there for those who need that help and support
In his spare time, Joe enjoys fishing, DIY and going to the movies with his family.
Family Works Service Manager
Carmel joined Family Works in March 2022 after a long career in statutory social work. An Aotearoa born Pākehā with Irish and French heritage, her parents hail from the South Island. They met in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and raised Carmel and her siblings in Wainuiomata in a household where social justice issues were a typical part of their upbringing.
Carmel is a registered social worker and has worked in Aotearoa and the UK. Always centred on tamariki, rangatahi and whānau needs she has mainly worked in care and protection, youth justice, adoption and family and sexual harm practice areas. She has worked in small offices and been a senior manager in government. She is motivated by promoting and supporting solution-focused, strengths-based quality practice which fully aligns with the Family Works approach.
Outside of work she enjoys family time, dabbles in some volunteer work and likes going to the movies! Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tātou mahi – Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.
Family Dispute Resolution Manager
Ko Taupari te maunga
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Queen of the Mercy te waka
Ko Scotland te iwi
Te Whanganui a Tara ahau
Ko Kathryn Gray toku ingoa
No reira, tēnā koutou,tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa
Kathryn has been the Manager of the Family Works Resolution Service since February 2022. Before that she worked as a Social Worker in Schools (SWiS) for Family Works and Barnardos and has over 10 years’ experience as a social worker in community and statutory settings. She is passionate about children being at the centre of decision-making and brings knowledge of the family court process.
As an intake assessor, coach, and Te Reo Tamariki – Child Voice practitioner and Accredited Mediator, she strives to bring her enthusiasm for early intervention for families into her work.
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- Master’s Applied in Social Work
- SWRB – Social Workers Registration Board
- ANZASW – Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers
- Resolution Institute Accredited Mediator
Sara is a senior practitioner registered social worker, who has an extensive 25-year history working in social services in New Plymouth. Sara also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Science, with a specialization in Addiction and Mental Health. She has been the Team Manager of Family Works Taranaki since June 2022.
Sara has worked in a wide variety of roles in Taranaki, including education, government departments, and NGO’s. She has always had a strong youth emphasis in her roles, with a focus on the prevention of youth offending by addressing many of the negative early life experiences that contribute to the reasons for the offending. It was this passion, and the strong conviction that education was key to lasting change for young people, that led her to form Starfish Group Project, an NGO with the focus being on support and change for rangatahi.
After seven years in her role at Starfish Project, Sara made the change to Family Works. Being a larger NGO and New Zealand wide, Sara firmly believes positive and lasting change can be achieved through this medium for whānau in her community.
SWRB – Social Work Registration Board
ANZASW – Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers
DAPAANZ – Addiction Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa New Zealand
Taiana has a bi-cultural degree in Social Work and has significant experience in supporting children, families and young people in the community. She is an experienced group facilitator and fully trained professional supervisor.
In her spare time Taiana enjoys volunteer work, particularly leadership within the Girls Brigade and other church-based programmes.
Shelly has been with Family Works since 2011 as a Practice Leader and Social Worker. In her role Shelly undertakes counselling, social work and advocacy, and case management. She provides internal supervision to other Family Works staff as well as auditing files and case management.
Shelly is an experienced and accredited Restorative Justice facilitator (including family violence RJ), she is also a Parenting Through Separation and Incredible Years group facilitator.
Shelly holds a Bicultural Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, as well as certificates for Biculturalism in Practice, Teacher Aide, and Child Protection Studies.
Outside of work Shelly volunteers for local organisations and schools, play softball and manages both softball and rugby teams.
Social Worker in Schools Team Leader
Robern Austin is the social worker in schools (SWiS) team leader for Family Works. Robern has been with Family Works in her role since January 2017 before this she worked as one of the social workers and FDR mediators for Family Works Upper Hutt for 2 ½ years.
Robern has 17 years experience as a social worker in a variety of roles; from working as a rape crisis worker to working with vulnerable children in the care and protection team at Child Youth and Family. Robern has a passion for supporting our most vulnerable and ensuring the delivery of safe practice.
Robern has facilitated a range of parenting programmes and youth groups and has her Diploma in Counselling and is a registered social worker.
Kōrero Manaaki Practitioner
Carolyn works across multiple groups to support mental health, including Family Works. Carolyn works with people with special needs, victims of sexual abuse, and children. Carolyn coaches and runs sports teams for children and also has a child with needs.
- Diploma in Counselling
- Provisional Membership, NZAC