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Disability Information and Support has a dedicated team of staff who are passionate about providing quality support.

Management Team

Melissa Lethaby

BA (Otago)

ManagerPhoto of Melissa Lethaby

Melissa joined the team at Disability Information and Support in 2002. In her role as Manager, Melissa is responsible for facilitating an environment where students with impairments are provided with equitable opportunities to achieve their individual capabilities and participate in all aspects of tertiary education life.

In addition, Melissa is the Co-President of ACHIEVE, which is a national network, established to ensure equal opportunity and access to post-secondary education and training for people with impairments.


Tel +64 3 479 8549

Jackie Fox

BA (Otago)

Learning Support ManagerPhoto of Jackie Fox

Jackie joined the team at Disability Information and Support in 2006. As Learning Support Manager, Jackie enjoys leading the Learning Support team to ensure sustainable and high-quality support is provided to meet the needs of students with impairments, promote their well-being, and enhance their tertiary experience.


Tel +64 3 479 8791
Mob +64 21 0221 8790

Learning Support Team

Rachel 'Aluesi

Student AdvisorPhoto of Rachel 'Aluesi

Rachel has been part of the Disability Information and Support team since 2012. Her role as Test/Exam Coordinator contributed to the retention and success of students with impairments studying at the University of Otago and was a point of inspiration for her decision to become a Student Advisor in 2020.

Rachel enjoys working with students to enable them to achieve their academic goals and reach their full potential.


Tel +64 3 479 8320

Emily Chatfield

BA, PgDip, MA (Otago)

Student AdvisorEmily Chatfield image

Emily joined Disability Information and Support in 2020 as a Student Advisor. As a former University of Otago student, she knows and understands some of the challenges that students can face.

In her role as Student Advisor, she assists students by finding ways to improve their learning experience.

Having conducted research and volunteered in the field of mental health, she is passionate about improving student wellbeing.


Tel +64 3 479 4370

Emma Holt

BA, DipTour, MCom (Otago)

Student AdvisorPhoto of Emma Holt

Emma has worked at a Student Advisor in the office since 2009. Having studied at the University of Otago through to Masters level, she understands the challenges of university study.

She has an appreciation of the issues postgraduate students often face and works closely with students studying from a distance.

She is motivated to put in place supports to enable students to study independently and achieve their academic goals.


Tel +64 3 479 4004

Rebecca McFadyen

Student AdvisorPhoto of Rebecca McFadyen

Rebecca first joined the team at Disability Information and Support in 2012 as a Note-Taker Administrator. After seeing first-hand how a little academic support can go a long way to help students with impairments thrive in the university environment, Rebecca was inspired to work as a Student Advisor.

Rebecca is passionate about providing support to enable students to achieve their academic goals.


Tel +64 3 479 8245

Margaret Wright

Student Advisor

LLB BA GradDipTchg (Sec)

Margaret joined Disability Information and Support in 2017 as an exam/test supervisor, transitioning to a Student Advisor in 2023.  Having previously studied at the University of Otago, she understands the challenges students face whilst developing their passion and achieving their goals.

With her background in secondary teaching and boarding, Margaret understands the importance of having the right supports in place to navigate life, grow independently, and thrive academically. She is motivated by past students’ successes to help other students achieve.

Julie Black

Julie Black image Learning Support Co-ordinator

Julie started working for Disability Information and Support as a Client Service Administrator in May 2019 and in 2021, she joined the Learning Support team.

In her current role as Learning Support Co-ordinator, Julie contributes to the success of students with impairments by working collaboratively with the Test/Exams and Tutor Co-ordinators. This includes liaising with University departments and working with tutors and test/exam supervisors.

Julie enjoyed supporting students from a front office position and now, as a member of the learning support team, she takes great satisfaction in continuing to support students to reach their full potential.


Tel +64 3 479 5874

Ali Charlton

Tutor Co-ordinatorPhoto of Ali Charlton

Ali joined Disability Information and Support in 2012 as Tutor Co-ordinator on a temporary basis and took up the role permanently in 2014.

Working within the Learning Support Team, her role is to co-ordinate a professional tutorial service for students with impairments.

Ali enjoys working closely with a team of around 200 tutors to ensure students receive the tutoring support necessary to help them achieve their academic goals.


Tel +64 3 471 6212

Toni Patterson-Gallagher

Photo of Toni Patterson-GallagherNote-taker Co-ordinator

Toni joined the team at Disability Information and Support in 2012. In her role as Note-taker Co-ordinator, Toni works within the Learning Support Team to co-ordinate a professional note-taking service for students with impairments.

Toni enjoys liaising with a wide range of people across campus and takes great satisfaction in supporting students to reach their full potential.


Tel +64 3 479 9785

Administration Team

Our Client Services Administration team are responsible for providing effective administration support to Disability Information and Support staff and is the first point of contact for students, staff and visitors to our service.


Tel +64 3 479 8235

Kelly Alexander

Kelly Alexander image Client Services Administrator

Maria Apii

Maria Apii Client Services Administrator

Kerry Twemlow

Client Services Administrative Assistant

In addition to our staff listed above, we have a large and enthusiastic team of support people who provide specialist support.

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.

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