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Meet our staff

Associate Professor Melanie Beres

MelanieAcademic Director

Tel +64 3 479 8736
Email melanie.beres@otago.ac.nz
Room R6C12

In addition to my role here at Te Whare Tāwharau as Academic Director, I am also an Associate Professor in Sociology, Gender and Social Work. You can see my profile here:

Associate Professor Melanie Beres profile page

In my free time I enjoy working on renovations to my house, gardening and spending time with my family.

Tarn Felton

TarnManager

Tel +64 3 479 3792
Email tarn.felton@otago.ac.nz

Tena koutou katoa,

Ko Tarn Felton ahau
Ko Ngati Paoa, rātou Ko Ngati Whanaunga Ko Aerani ōku iwi

Growing up in an eclectic whānau fostered my deep passion for advocating for people’s rights to feel safe, nurtured and supported within their communities. A career in the community development sector has helped to continue this passion and I have spent the last 20 years addressing local needs, working with young people, and collaborating with whānau and communities.

I am excited to be part of the team as the Support Manager for Te Whare Tāwharau and I look forward to helping to create a centre that is focused on supporting and advocating for people who need sound advice and a caring hand.

When I am not buried in assignments, I love to keep it real, throw myself into nature and embrace the elements with my dog Blue.

Zoran Stojanov

ZoranEvaluation Co-ordinator

Hi all, my name is Zoran, I joined the TWT team in mid-2018 as an Evaluation Co-ordinator. I have a diverse professional experience, with my career following a path that enabled me to merge my interest in helping people with my passion for numbers and analytical work. I have some 20 years of experience in evaluating international development interventions and human rights programmes.

Aside from surveys and spreadsheets, I like to spend my time with my family, camping and hiking when the weather allows. And playing different board games otherwise.

It is a privilege for me to be a member of this great team with such a noble cause.

Melanie Piri

Melanie Piri imageStudent Engagement Co-ordinator

Hi, I’m excited to be the Student Engagement Co-ordinator at Te Whare Tāwharau. I graduated from Otago a few moons ago where I studied Community and Family Studies. Since then I have been working in various roles in tertiary education and in sport and recreation. I’m passionate about our University community and doing my part to keep our community safe and supported. I’m looking forward to further spreading the word to our community about the great work that the team at Te Whare Tāwharau do.

When I’m not at work I’m hanging out with my three sons and our ninja dog, running the amazing mountains and trails around Dunedin, renovating my house and playing/watching any sport under the sun.

Hahna Briggs

Hahna Briggs imageTraining and Development Co-ordinator

Tel +64 3 479 3791
Email hahna.briggs@otago.ac.nz

Kia ora,
I moved to Dunedin in 2007 to complete my Masters in Dance Studies. After completing my studies and spending a year in Melbourne, I was awarded the 2013 the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance.

Previous to this role, I was at the Otago University Students Association for 6 years as the Queer Support Co-ordinator and later moved into the Senior Advocate position. In my current role as Training and Development Co-ordinator I provide support and advocacy to students, train our volunteers and peer facilities and run prevention and disclosure training for campus staff and students.

Outside of this role, I run GASP! Dance Inclusive – dance classes and performance for people with and without disabilities. I love improvisation and connecting with others through creative movement.

Cam Young

Cam Young imagePacific Student Navigator

Kia orana!

I am the youngest of six children and am of Cook Islands, Sāmoan and European descent. Born in the mighty Hawke's Bay, it was both a culture and temperature shock moving to Dunedin. I am now in my final year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Anatomy, minoring in Pacific Islands Studies.

I am passionate about community, Pacific health and sexual well-being. This role provides me the privilege of engaging with our Pacific students and helping facilitate comfortable, safe environments to talk about taboo health topics. I believe our Pacific students have great power and that there is much strength in overcoming adversity as a collective community. I am excited to support the development and growth of our Pacific community through this role!

I am a values-driven individual, focused on expressing courage, love and vibrancy in all that I do. In my spare time, you will find me at the movie theatre or grabbing ice cream with friends.

Meitaki ma'ata e kia manuia!

Michelle Knowler

Michelle Knowler imagePacific Student Navigator

Halo Olgeta,

I am from the village of Hog Harbour on the island of Santo, Vanuatu, and Timaru, New Zealand. I grew up in Vanuatu with my family, then travelled back across the moana to start tertiary study in Christchurch. I graduated from Ara Polytechnic with two NZ Diplomas in Applied Science. A few years later, I am in Dunedin studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB).

My role as a Pacific Student Navigator is to help develop sexual violence prevention programmes through a Pacific lens. Growing up in a Pacific community, I acknowledge that topics on sex and sexual violence are taboo and the consequences of this silence can be detrimental. I am passionate about addressing these issues and creating a space where our students feel safe to seek information and gain support about any aspect of their health and well-being.

Respect, humility and service are the values that guide me in creating a culturally responsible and safer university for my Pacific community.

I enjoy being outdoors, dancing and hanging out with my friends when I am not working or studying.

Tankio tumas

Prevention workshop facilitators

  • Anna Britz
  • Katie Plant
  • Rachel Shaw
  • Rachel Tombs
  • Olivia Antonievich
  • Sam Fennessy
  • Jordan Quensell
  • Tim Smith
  • Salamasina Tofa
  • Rachel Fisken
  • Cam Young
  • Michaela Corcoran
  • Lydia Le Gros
  • Georgia King
  • Michelle Knowler
  • Alisha Jefferis
  • Cassidy McCosh
  • Sylvia Bellingham
  • Charlie Humphrey

Former staff

  • Jordan Dougherty (Student Engagement Advocate)
  • Angela Eketone-Kelly (Outreach Co-ordinator, 2018)
  • Katie Graham (Research Fellow)
  • Therese Lam
  • Rachel Shaw (Prevention Co-ordinator)