Our Volunteers

Vounteers are key to providing a fun, safe, and inclusive environment for families.  

  • Marina Walsh
  • Kellie Dudley
  • John Walsh
  • Joanne Morris
  • Kim Hasler
  • John Hasler
  • Kayla Hasler
  • Wendy Middleton
  • Krystal Hasler
  • Karen McEldowney
  • Shannon McEldowney
  • Marie Evans
  • Tracey Herewini-Davis
  • Helen Moller
  • Stephanie Van Vurren
  • Dennis Rei
  • Liam Elliot
  • Lyndal Henry
  • Sandy Herbert
  • Hannah Agar
  • Linda Agar
  • Patrick Tongi
  • Theresa Tongi
  • Alec Te’o
  • Akosita Te’o
  • Kellie Dudley


  • Theresa

    Theresa Tongi

    Theresa is of Samoan decent from the village of Vai'ee, Moata'a and Alamagoto, born and raised in West Auckland. When two of Theresa's children were diagnosed with ASD, she resigned from her 12 year career in the New Zealand Police to focus on being a full-time mum. Theresa and her husband Pat moved to New Plymouth and founded Autism Connex to support other families on the journey. They are devoted to their God and the calling upon their lives to help and support other families who live the ASD journey. "I am a better mum, and a better person, because of my boys. It's a privilege to support other families"
  • Fiona

    Fiona Elliot

    Originally from Taranaki, Fiona recently returned to New Plymouth after 12 years overseas. As a mum of three boys, two of whom have been diagnosed with ASD, she understands how challenging and isolating it can be. Their diagnosis was a large part of her decision to homeschool. Fiona Elliot Autism Connex is a lifeline for families living with ASD and Fiona, along with her husband, Grant, is excited to be part of an organisation that recognizes and supports the needs of families in the community facing the same challenges.
  • Marina

    Marina Walsh

    Kia Ora Koutou, Ko Marina tōku ingoa, My husband John and I have had the privilege of being part of Autism Connex from the get go. It has been an exciting journey and I have fallen in love with this incredible group of people. I feel honored to have the opportunity to engage in the world of autism - this world of treasured gems, different but similar in many ways. Oh and when I was a little girl my favourite tshirt had a ken-worth truck on it, random I know yet beautiful.
  • Raimond

    Raimond Jacquemand

    Raimond is of Dutch origin, born in South Africa. He had his medical and paediatric training in Belgium, South Africa, and the Netherlands. He moved to New Plymouth with his family in 2002, and joined the Paediatric team at Taranaki District Health Board. In his work he has developed an interest in developmental disorders in children. Over the years he has especially enjoyed being involved with many young people with ASD and their families.

  • Team_Karen

    Karen McEldowney

    I enjoy the opportunity to use my graphic design, marketing and business skills to give back to a cause that benefits the community in such a meaningful way. Theresa inspires and challenges me to achieve more than I ever thought was possible. Autism Connex is one of the most rewarding things I've ever been involved with.

  • NEW Andrew and Karen

    Andrew and Karen Glenny

    Andrew is a local Orthopaedic Surgeon and Karen, a nurse, who now spends the majority of her time, raising their two teenagers - Isaac and Samantha. "We were thrust into the world of ASD with the diagnosis of our son Isaac, 16 years ago, at age 2. It has been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs with the many challenges, and blessings that face an ASD family. We feel privileged to be a part of Autism Connex. In some small way we hope we can share with other families living with ASD some of the gained knowledge and experience we have collected along the way, as well as encouragement and hope."
  • Team_Claire

    Claire Maaka

    My name is Claire Maaka. Myself and my husband Dion have two children Jake (12) and Aliyah (10). Aliyah was diagnosed with Autism at 2 and is non verbal. I am from Ireland and have been living in NZ for 10 years. I hope that sharing our journey and experience can help other families.
  • Pat

    Pat Tongi

    Patrick and his wife, Theresa have four children, two are Autistic. He loves serving his community through Autism Connex and as a Police Officer in New Plymouth. Patrick is of Tongan descent from Vava’u. He was born and raised in Auckland. “I want our community to be the best at supporting and celebrating families with Autism.”
  • Team Dion Maaka

    Dion Maaka

    Dion Maaka (Ngāruahine) is Taranaki born and raised. With a Bachelor of Business Studies and a wealth of management experience, Dion has utilised his skills across the globe, and back home in Taranaki. While working in London, Dion met his wife Claire and in 2009 they returned to Taranaki to settle with their two children. Dion is the Finance Risk and Group Strategy Leader at TSB Community Trust. He is humbled and proud to be leading Autism Connex into an exciting time of growth and innovation.
  • JoleneSQ-e1549581985358

    Jolene Stockman

    Jolene is an award-winning Taranaki writer, speaker, and business owner. She is also takiwātanga; autistic. Since her adult diagnosis, she has gone public with her experience - its challenges and superpowers. She is excited to support the Autism Connex team and increase optimism and understanding around autism.