OUR TEAM

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Damon Birchfield

CEO

I’m the CEO here at EcoMatters Trust, and I have the privilege of leading our great team of passionate and talented ecowarriors and environmental experts. This is an exciting time at EcoMatters as we look to grow on our past success and multiply our effectiveness within the communities we are involved. We are very approachable and love to hear from anyone who wants to get alongside and get involved, be it volunteering in our community garden, or partnering on new and ambitious projects. So please don’t be a stranger, get in touch! Email: damon@ecomatters.org.nz

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Carla Gee

Operations & HR Manager and Team Leader - Housing Initiatives

My role here at EcoMatters is Operations & HR Manager, and as such, I work closely with Damon, assisting with HR, Heath & Safety, Payroll, Board requirements and general administration for the team. I am relishing working with such an amazing team of talent and dedicated people, and I feel reinvigorated to be exposed to and learning about caring for our environment on a daily basis. Outside of work, I am kept busy with my two sons, who love soccer, kung fu, motorbike riding, swimming, and fighting zombies! Email: carla@ecomatters.org.nz, Ph. ext. 102

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Tina Ivory

Accounts Manager

I’m the accounts manager at EcoMatters. Outside of work my hubby and his business, kids and menagerie of dogs, cat and chickens all keep me pretty busy. For downtime I enjoy Pilates/yoga, walking, exploring the outdoors and curling up with a good book.  Email: tina@ecomatters.org.nz Phone: 09 827 4997

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Dr Dan Ducker

Research & Strategy Lead

As the resident geek at EcoMatters, my primary role is developing our research and strategy capability. I love hearing about, creating, or trialling new and interesting ways that communities (including businesses) can work together to make progress on the complex social and environmental issues we face. You’ll often find me at a desk but I’m more at home in the ocean, watching sunsets over our beautiful west coast lagoons, or chatting with mates with a beer in hand. Please do get in touch if you have any cool ideas for projects, or want to bounce any thoughts off me. Email: dan@ecomatters.org.nz

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Melanie Hull

Administration Coordinator
I first became acquainted with EcoMatters through the Co-Starters for Causes Programme and when a role became available I jumped at the chance to work with such a passionate group of changemakers! 
I work closely with Carla and Tina while also helping out with the administration on a number of different projects. I'm very much enjoying learning about all the exiting new initiatives that help our community to live a more sustainable lifestyle
When I'm not here I'm trying to perfect the art of the 'low maintenance garden' in Titirangi and can often be found on adventures with my little family of five including one fiancee, one super active toddler plus two cute terriers.
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Emily Harris

Team Leader - Partnerships & Events

My team creates EcoMatters' big events like EcoWest Festival and EcoDay, works with our wonderful partners, and shares with our supporters all the ways they can get involved. I also look after the Co.Starters for Causes programme where I get to support participants working through turning their ideas into impactful social enterprises. I currently work part-time and spend the rest of my time chasing after my toddler, exploring Auckland's beautiful beaches, bush and streams, and trying to grow as much of our own fruit and veggies as I can. Email: emily@ecomatters.org.nz

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Myrthe Braam

Events and Funding Coordinator

I started out working at EcoMatters as Event Manager, organising our annual festival EcoWest including EcoDay. A few things have been added to the list and now I am also Project Manager for Love Your Neighbourhood and I help the Housing Quality Initiatives Team with the administrative side of our Love Your Water project. At the moment, I am working remotely while travelling the country in our self-built tiny home on wheels. Email: myrthe@ecomatters.org.nz

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Deborah Teh

Marketing and Communications Lead

My job is to tell stories about how our community cares for the environment, and why. I'm often found with my nose behind a camera, and when I'm not at work I'm partial to sunny weekend bike rides and river-side reading. Email: deborah@ecomatters.org.nz

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Ina Patisolo

Low Carbon Community Coordinator

I'm a;
bokashi rather than compost bin; push-bike not e-bike; keep-cup not compostable; op shop rather than mall; 1.8L not suv; cloth over plastic; agavale never kaumakau; more Mahler than Mendelssohn; Leontyne Price than Callas; Stevie Wonder than Drake; Samba than Salsa; Perenara than Smith; nuanua not 'pale, male and stale'; espresso than filter; more Hanly than Pollock; RNZ not TV; for accordion not against accordion; puppy not pussy; Peppa Pig than The Wiggles; greencane toilet roll under NEVER over;
type. Email: ina@ecomatters.org.nz

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Brent Bielby

Team Leader - Bike Hub Initiatives

I manage the bike related activities across Auckland for EcoMatters. I love cycling... it's got to be best form of transport ever created! I enjoy being able to help out with basic bike maintenance advice, and am always happy to chat about bike stuff (like bike routes). I've been a bike commuter most of my life, and have also tried some road racing, mountain biking, and have cycled toured around NZ and Europe.
My colleague Bruce (in the middle) can be quiet and unassuming, but make no mistake...he is our spiritual leader at the Bike Hub. Stan (on the left) is a bit sheepish, but is a real dag when you get to know him!
Email: brent@ecomatters.org.nz

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Josca Craig-Smith

Community Bike Mechanic

I'm usually found at the Bike Hub in New Lynn working alongside our trusty volunteers. We guide visitors through their own bicycle repairs or adjustments, help with cycling advice, get donated bikes back on the road and stock recycled bike parts.
I love helping get Aucklanders started on bikes or on the road to happier, more efficient and comfier cycling.
At home I am a proud father of two. Since 2003 I have been a bike mechanic and tinkerer with a love for retro and custom bikes. I also have a passion for classic boats, recycled wood furniture, sign painting and other crafts. Email: josca@ecomatters.org.nz

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Meg Liptrot

Community Garden & EcoHub Education Coordinator

Meg has a background in sustainable land management and green design so can advise you on organic, productive solutions for your backyard or block of land. She has also been through an eco renovation and can help with ideas and eco products for your place. Meg has worked at EcoMatters since 2005 and over that time has developed a comprehensive workshop programme and network of expert tutors for the centre, the line-up is refreshed every season. Email: meg@ecomatters.org.nz

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Pamela Gill

Principal: Restoration, Community & Iwi Relationships

I am the Manager – Restorative Projects here at EcoMatters. Many of the projects I work on are focused on restoring stream side areas out west or dealing to pervasive weeds. I love working with the community to restore their environment. When not at work you’ll most probably find me further out west enjoying the beautiful bush & beach environment I live in. Email: pamela@ecomatters.org.nz Ph: (09) 826 0554

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Phil Needle

Engagement & Ecological Advisor

I work alongside in the Nature Team connecting community with their environment. My favourite part of the job is making challenging projects worthwhile and fun. When I’m not lending a hand in the bush you’ll find me with the family, having more fun! Ph. 027 904 5514

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Chrissy Yates

Nursery Manager

I joined EcoMatters in January 2016 to set up small native plant nursery with the aim of contributing to environmental restoration activities in our local community, as well as providing an enjoyable setting where people can connect, share knowledge, learn and grow to love our native bush. I love my work and from a very early age I was fascinated with our native fauna and flora. The Waitakere Ranges was the perfect playground and over the years my passion for protecting our natural environment has grown. I am a resident of Glen Eden and for the past 15 years have gained much experience in native plant propagation and forest restoration. Contact details; Email: chrissy@ecomatters.org.nz Mobile: 0274 810 688

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Alanah Mullin

Stream Ranger

I'm proud to have been a Stream Ranger at EcoMatters for 8 years, working alongside West Auckland neighbours restoring streamside environs together.
In my spare time I love following the Womens Professional Tennis Circuit, going to local music performances, working, swimming and yoga where possible. Email: alanah@ecomatters.org.nz or phone (09) 813 2285 / 021 308 268

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Melissa Ward

Nature Team Assistant

A self confessed Nature Lover! I am at my best in the outdoors and love connecting with people and sharing my passion. I always look for ways to improve the environment - even small things like banning glad wrap in my home. I like to compost, reuse, recycle and grow my own vegetables.
Having started off as a volunteer at EcoMatters, I have now come on board to help with a few projects including Pest Free Olympic Park, the Waitahurangi Wildlink & the Albert-Eden Pest Quest - all of these projects have an emphasis on reducing pests in our local areas.
I believe that reducing pests is essential & a great way to improve our environment for the future.
Email: melissa@ecomatters.org.nz

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Sarah Jane Murray

Team Leader - Zero Waste Initiatives

I blaze the Waste Minimisation trail here at EcoMatters. I am currently the team leader for all our Waste Initiatives, these include Compost Collective, Wesley Market, Humming Gardens, Adopt-A-Resource, the Waste Brokerage Project, Zero Waste Events & Love Food Hate Waste.
In my spare time, I love kite surfing and hanging at my home beach of Muriwai with my dog Chilli.
Email: sarah@ecomatters.org.nz
Phone: 09 826 4276, ext. 141

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Thomas Peters

Waste Project Assistant

As a Waste Project Assistant at EcoMatters, my work involves supporting projects that are helping to make Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau a less wasteful place, such as Humming Gardens, and Adopt-a-Resource. I also deal to the electronic waste (e-waste) that gets dropped off to us.
Aside from EcoMatters, I’m an avid nature enthusiast so will likely be out getting lost in some far flung corner of our beautiful country, or at home watching a David Attenborough doco.
Email: thomas@ecomatters.org.nz

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Amanda Hookham-Kraft

Waste Project Assistant

I carry a background in Regenerative Design and Zero Waste Community development.
Actively engaging as a voluntary role in the Titirangi Village Market over the past four years setting up and running the Zero Waste infrastructure at the market, local school and festival events.
A passionate advocate for the health and restoration of Natural living systems with an interest in how we as people can strengthen our understanding and relationships to enable this. The Humming Gardens project is an exciting opportunity to work with the synergy of community, resources , and waste.
In spare time I like hanging out with my three daughters in the quietness of Parau, relaxing with a bit of yoga and walking.
Email: amanda@ecomatters.org.nz

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Shannon Otene

Waste Project Assistant & Sustainability Advisor

I work between two teams at EcoMatters, as a driver for the Zero Waste team and as a WAL (Water Advice Line) – Sustainability Advisor for the Homes team. Both roles are varied and busy, which I love as it keeps me on my toes. I’m not the type to dilly dally with tasks or jobs, rather just jump in and get stuck into it! Although I am fairly new to the EcoMatters family, in the short time I have been here, I have already learnt so much and have eagerness to learn more in protecting our ataahua planet and be more resourceful in our everyday living.
Outside of work I enjoy being active by playing netball, touch, walks and going to the gym. I also enjoy spending quality time with my children.
Email: shannon@ecomatters.org.nz

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Kirstie MacDiarmid

Sustainability Advisor

I work in the Housing Quality Initiatives Team on a handful of awesome projects that focus on supporting households to get wise on their water and energy use, get their homes warm and get those pesky bills down!
When I’m not at work I like getting out into the sunshine and nature. When indoors, I’m partial to a good podcast! For more information on Healthy Rentals, HomeWise Workshops and our free Water Checks take a look under For Homes on the website.  Email: kirstie@ecomatters.org.nz

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Dominique Crowe

Sustainability Advisor

I am a sustainability advisor for the home initiatives team mainly working in the Love Your Water and Homewise sectors. I studied ecology at University and am really passionate about working within communities. I am thoroughly enjoying working with a group of such passionate people and working with communities to be more sustainable. When I'm not at work you can find me outdoors hiking and taking photos along the West Coast. I am also partial to a good board game and frequently play dungeons and dragons.
Email: dominique@ecomatters.org.nz