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

Muhammad Naseem (Joe) Asghar

Chief Executive, Presbyterian Support Central

Central Hub, Porirua

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.

Julia Hennessy

Julia Hennessy

General Manager, Family Works Central

Anvil House, Wellington

Julia has been a senior leader in the social services sector for over 20 years. She has been working in children and family services, in both government and non-government roles, throughout her career. Julia qualified as a social worker and has moved from being a practitioner to a senior manager in both the UK and NZ. Julia has managed numerous projects, from design through to implementation, and ensured quality was a core component in every project.

Julia sits on several local and international Boards within her scope of practice. These Boards are all promoting quality practice and supporting mechanisms for community engagement and empowerment.

Carmel McKee

Carmel McKee

Practice Development Manager

Anvil House, Wellington

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. 

Kathryn Gray

Kathryn Gray

Family Dispute Resolution Manager

Anvil House, Wellington

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.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Master’s Applied in Social Work

MEMBERSHIPS:

  • SWRB – Social Workers Registration Board
  • ANZASW – Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers
  • Resolution Institute Accredited Mediator
Nylek M Nair

Nylek M Nair

Kaiwhakarite for Kōrero Manaaki

Whanganui

Nylek is the Kaiwhakarite for the Family Works Kōrero Manaaki programme, based in Whanganui. He is responsible for the mahi such as keeping in contact with school principals, liaising with the Kaihautū (externally appointed counsellors and social workers), managing the programmes workflow and reporting back to Ministry of Education.

Nylek has spent many years working for community organisations and has experience in facilitating bridge education programs for alcohol and other drug dependent clients, facilitating intensive Nga Kakano program, conducting 1:1 case sessions (e.g. utilising CBT, te whare tapa wha, transactional analysis, addiction and brain, relapse prevention, power & control/equality wheel, MI, etc), facilitating te awhina groups and AOD assessments.

Nylek has worked with a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and cultures (e.g. Māori, Pākehā, Indian, LGBQT) and is trained with the requirements of the Treaty of Waitangi, working with Māori, working with whanau through MHERC, Matua Raki and the Ministry of Health.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Master of Social Work (Distinction)
  • Master of Business Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

MEMBERSHIPS:

  • SWRB – Social Workers Registration Board
Sara Bright

Sara Bright

Team Manager

Taranaki

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. 

MEMBERSHIPS: 

SWRB – Social Work Registration Board 

ANZASW – Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers 

DAPAANZ – Addiction Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa New Zealand 

Raewyn Anderson

Raewyn Anderson

Team Manager

Whanganui

Raewyn has worked as a trauma counsellor since 2013. She completed a diploma of trauma management, an advanced study of grief and loss counselling and has also trained in Psychological Fist Aid.

Her experience also includes facilitating therapeutic and educational community group work on marriage/couple and parenting classes.

Raewyn is also a specialist in early intervention for psychosocial planning in natural disasters involving Trauma recovery in Communities and Managing High Arousal After Trauma; and she facilitated community groups for families and youth after the Christchurch 2011 earthquakes.

Working with the International Critical Incident Stress foundation, Raewyn is an approved instructor for the Individual Crisis Intervention and peer Support programme and developed a Comprehensive Crisis Preparation and Response for the workplace.

Outside of therapy, education and community support, Raewyn is a New Zealand author of young adult fiction stories.

Taiana Anderson

Taiana Anderson

Team Manager

Wairarapa

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 Evans

Shelly Evans

Team Manager

Greater Wellington

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.