Our Team

The Drowning Prevention Auckland Team

Management

Nicola Keen-Biggelaar

Nicola Keen-Biggelaar

Chief Executive

Nicola brings to Drowning Prevention Auckland a commitment to excellence, a passion for leading people and a willingness to leave a positive legacy.  The cause of drowning prevention is meaningful to her after experiencing the community impact of drowning, when one of her son’s friends drowned in a home pool at the age of two.  Nicola has nearly twenty years’ experience in funding with a decade of this experience in community investment management for a large corporate.  She brings a deep passion for charities, and the extraordinary outcomes achievable when local government and business works alongside charities to address societal issues.
Ants Lowe

Ants Lowe

General Manager Operations

Ants is a recreational water user with a passion and respect for wai from a young age. He has extensive experience in the diving industry and has taught respect for water in many aquatic environments. Having worked in the water safety sector for many years, Ants brings to DPA a valuable understanding of, and strong relationships within, the New Zealand water safety sector. Prior to reengaging with the water safety sector, Ants led large teams in the disability sector. His passion for education and partnerships, together with his operational, financial and people management experience, mean that DPA will be well served in its commitment to achieve its vision for a Tāmaki Makaurau /Auckland free from drowning.
Teresa Stanley

Teresa Stanley

Research and Impact Manager

DipTchg BSc PgDip MBsStud PhD
Dr Teresa Stanley recently completed her doctoral research at the University of Auckland studying perceived and actual adult water competencies and risk of drowning in open water. Together with Dr Kevin Moran, Teresa has had many research articles published in international journals. Teresa is both an aquatic practitioner and a participant having been a NZ Swimming representative and NZ Surf titleholder, and life guarded at many beaches around New Zealand. She is an experienced and qualified teacher and swim teacher and has previous employment with Surf Life Saving Northern and New Zealand, and Harbour Sport. Teresa brings her extensive experience and expertise in a number of aquatic areas specifically in relation to research, programme development and measuring impact in preventing drowning.
Tamsin O'Sullivan

Tamsin O'Sullivan

Marketing and Events Manager

BA (Hons) International Public Relations and French
Tamsin is DPA’s first volunteer and joins us with 15 years’ experience in marketing and project management roles. As a keen open water swimmer, she is passionate about encouraging people to enjoy the water safely. Her professional career has been largely spent in the education sector – with UK and NZ experience leading teams in the marketing, recruitment and programme development of international business programmes. Most recently she worked in the Clients & Marketing team at Deloitte NZ with roles in both the corporate and private business space. Tamsin is no stranger to volunteering and has supported campaigns and events for charitable organisations in the UK, New Zealand and Peru.

Tamsin is a British/Peruvian New Zealander. She relishes any opportunity to continue her own learning journey in drama, French and cold water acclimatisation!

Joanne MacMillan

Joanne MacMillan

Strategy and Implementation Manager

Bachelor of Physical Education, DipTchng
Jo brings over 15 years’ experience in the education and public sector specialising in sport, recreation and environmental services. With a strong foundation in strategy development and implementation management Jo spent nearly ten years with Auckland Council in varying roles. Jo developed, implemented and drove strategic initiatives that promoted and enabled active and environmentally friendly communities. Jo has been instrumental in the success of various large public projects resulting from exceptional stakeholder engagement. Jo is passionate about working with targeted Māori, Pacifika and Asian communities and ensuring that they are recognised and represented. Jo is originally from South Africa and when not at work can be found with her family and friends either in, on or beside the water.
Kushida Rasheed

Kushida Rasheed

Finance Manager

Bachelor of Business Management & Economics
Kushida started with Drowning Prevention Auckland as a volunteer in 2014 as Admin Support, then joined as a part-time Accounts Administrator and is now our Finance Manager. She is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, where she majored in Business Management and Economics. She also has a Certificate in Computing and Administration from Unitec, Auckland. Kushida is a Fijian Muslim, speaking Hindi and Fijian. Kushida is married and has two children and in her spare time she loves spending time with her family.
Isla McNiel

Isla McNiel

Office Administrator

Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Sociology, Post-grad Honours in Geography

Isla has recently completed her BA Honours in Geography, writing her thesis on the health benefits of school swimming pools in West Auckland. Spending around 20 years living in short walking distance to the Manukau Harbour, and enjoying many holidays at a popular Northland beach, the water has always been a place to spend time in, on and around. She has had boating exposure, both private and public swimming lessons through school and has been involved in similar water safety activities and learning to what DPA provides. When she found out there was an organisation in Auckland supporting these education efforts, she knew DPA was where she wanted to work to help make a difference. In her spare time, she enjoys going on hikes, staying active at the gym, and relaxing in front of a good Netflix series.

Open Water

Tom Kearney

Tom Kearney

Team Leader - Open Water

Bachelor of Sport & Recreation
Tom comes from an outdoor education background having completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at AUT. Working for a variety of outdoor activity providers he taught a number of water-based sports in schools and holiday programmes. Prior to joining DPA, he spent seven years overseas in the super yacht industry providing water sport instruction and safety cover for guests, and open water survival and firefighting training for crew. Tom volunteers as a Surf Lifeguard at Bethell’s beach and Senior Firefighter for Waitakere Fire Brigade. Tom and his team look forward to providing water safety courses to organisations in the Auckland region.

Education

Lynley Stewart

Lynley Stewart

Team Leader - Education

Bachelor of Education; Dip. Ed. Leadership; Registered Teacher
Lynley’s passion for aquatic education comes from a childhood spent having fun in the South Island rivers, lakes and at East Coast beaches. Over the years her career in education has included teaching in primary schools and at tertiary level as a lecturer in physical education and teaching practice, and as an adviser in schools providing professional learning for teachers and school leaders. In her current role, Lynley is committed to providing the best possible support to teachers and schools to enable our children and their whānau to enjoy and stay safe in New Zealand’s unique aquatic environment.
Dave Broadbent

Dave Broadbent

Aquatic Educator

Bachelor of Arts; Post Graduate Diploma of Primary Teaching; Registered Teacher

Dave has a background in education as a special needs teacher and over two decades he worked predominantly with secondary school students. Throughout his teaching career he has coached a variety of sports and regularly led groups of students in EOTC. Dave is a senior lifeguard and patrol captain at North Piha beach and has competed on the water in surf canoes, he can also be found supporting his partner in her open water swimming endeavours. Dave is excited to provide his aquatic expertise and enthusiasm to the education sector throughout the Auckland region.

Helen Meyrick

Helen Meyrick

Aquatic Educator

Graduate Diploma in Primary Education
Registered Teacher

Helen joins Drowning Prevention Auckland after 12 years of primary school teaching all over Auckland, including experience working with special needs and high behaviour needs students. In addition to classroom teaching, she has coached swimming, cross country, netball and cricket in the various schools she has worked in.
Helen also spent two years living and teaching in Virginia, USA.

Helen is excited to bring water safety education programmes to schools, helping teachers to grow their knowledge and skills to teach aquatic education confidently.

When not working, Helen enjoys hiking, trail running, biking and beach days with family and friends.

Community

Harry Aonga

Harry Aonga

Team Leader - Community Education and Events

Bachelor of Sport – Physical Education
Harry has worked for Drowning Prevention Auckland for over a decade providing important water safety education to communities in Tāmaki Makaurau. Harry, who is of Tongan ethnicity, has a passion for community engagement where he became the voice of Auckland’s Pacific community by helping change the Auckland navigation by-law in 2014 due to a high number of boating fatalities to Pacific peoples. Harry is married with 2 kids (Eva and Kaleb) who love being in, on and around the water.
Madison Chang

Madison Chang

Drowning Prevention Advisor - Asian Community

BA of Mass Communication and Post Grad of Marketing and International Business
Madison is of Chinese descent and worked with Deloitte in mainland China for many years in a C-suite role (senior management). He came to New Zealand with his family to enable his family to enjoy the Kiwi lifestyle. Madison has a great passion and energy for community engagement and has previously been working with the Electoral Commission to grow understanding of New Zealand’s government and democracy with Asian communities. He has also volunteered with Rotary for five years on Communication and Public Relations for New Zealand and Pacific Islands. His other voluntary work includes being a translator with Ethnic Community Leadership with Auckland Police. He has had his own unpleasant experience with both rock-fishing and boat fishing in Coromandel and comes with a deep commitment to make a difference for the Asian community, keeping them safe when enjoying aquatic environments.
Kairo Jacobs

Kairo Jacobs

Part-Time Aquatic Educator - Community

PLPC & AUST-SWIM
Kairo started his journey with Drowning Prevention Auckland as a participant in our SPLASH Break-Away school holiday programme at the age of 12 and has since worked for DPA in a casual role as an aquatic ambassador and has now graduated to a permanent part-time Aquatic Educator for the community team. Kairo comes from South Africa, Cape Town which is world-renowned for its beautiful water ways which has developed Kairo’s love and close connection with water since birth. 2021 was Kairo’s last year at One Tree Hill College where he completed Year 13 with a level 3 NCEA and plans to study at Diploma in Culinary Arts in 2023. Kairo is a qualified pool lifeguard (PLPC) and swim teacher (AUST Swim) and is currently playing soccer at a representative level for Auckland City FC Under 23 team.
Josh Carmine

Josh Carmine

Aquatic Educator - Community

Final year Bachelor of Health Science Paramedicine Major, Certificate of Business
Josh comes to us with an extensive Surf Life Saving background with 13 years of experience in the professional and volunteer lifeguarding environment along New Zealand’s’ East and West coast beaches. Josh has been involved with a number of aquatic environments including inflatable rescue boat racing, recreational boating, fishing, surfing, competitive swimming and pool lifeguarding. Josh is an advanced lifeguard and patrol captain for Piha and Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Lifesaving clubs and a keen instructor who loves to share his passion and knowledge for the water with his peers. Josh comes to us with three years of St John frontline ambulance critical care experience which he looks forward to incorporating with his aquatic skills to provide water safety courses to organisations. In his spare time, you will typically find him on or around fresh or saltwater catching fish, hiking through bush to find new surf breaks or swimming at the local pool.