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Our Board and Team

Passionate about your hearing

The team at Hearing Nelson are dedicated to improving the lives of people who are Hard of Hearing and Deaf preventing hearing loss through education in schools, workplaces and community groups.


Philip Woollaston


A former mayor of Nelson, MP and cabinet minister, Philip also has over 20 years of experience as a local vineyard and winery proprietor. Married to former Hearing Nelson board member Chan, he has moderate hearing loss and wears hearing aids (when he remembers!)

Meet the Team: Meet the Team

Our Board


Simon Gutschlag



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Herman van Gessel


Herman has a background in management accounting and has experienced working in not-for-profit organizations both in New Zealand and overseas.

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Liz Gilliespie

Board Secretary

Having spent the past 17 years working in management positions within two Auckland based charities, First Foundation and Staples Education Foundation, and at Hearing Nelson, plus many more years as a volunteer for numerous charities, clubs and schools,Liz is now very happy to be serving as a Volunteer at Hearing Nelson as Secretary to the Board.

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Mariana Silva Algorta

Board Member

Mariana is from Uruguay and is a proud New Zealand resident. Her experience comes from the Deaf Community as an Interpreter of Uruguayan Sign Language. She is a professional psychomotricity therapist, with a recent Master degree in Deafblindness and Communication.

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Our Team


Pete Dowling


Pete Dowling joined Hearing Nelson in May 2022 as Manager. He brings many skills of business and project management to the table, and is said to ‘love a good challenge’. Pete’s main focus is to rethink new ways to achieve what we need to as a non-profit association, and to add value to our services we provide our members and community in these challenging times, while preserving the things that work well.


Jackie Cooper

Administrator/ Fieldworker

Jackie joined the team here at Hearing Nelson in July 2022 as part time receptionist and fieldworker. She is finding working closely with the various rest homes in our area and the Hard of Hearing, very rewarding. She has previously worked as a medical receptionist and in the hospitality industry, and now looking forward to being able to help people on a more personal level in supporting them with the maintenance and cleaning of their hearing aids. She enjoys working with the team at Hearing House, and its excited to see what the future brings her role.

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Morfydd Barker

Golden Bay Fieldworker

Born in Wales and given a name that goes back to the Arthurian legends, Morfydd was brought up in London.  She has had two lives - one was as a scientist and software engineer in the UK and Singapore. The second is as a resident of Golden Bay, charity worker, painter and teacher, but primarily carrer for her late husband Bill.  She is now delighted to be able support those with hearing loss.

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Our Partner contractors


Cathy Gutschlag

Support Facilitator

Cathy has the support facilitator role at Hearing Nelson. She is a Social Worker student at NMIT and passionate about advocating for the right of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. She is an experience teacher of NZSL and communicator that brings us close to the Nelson Deaf Community.

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Kath Bee


Kath is exited to be involved in helping our tamariki across the top of the south, delivering our Dangerous Decibels education program by creating awareness and giving them the tools to reduce the noise levels in their every - day environment.

Meet the Team: Meet the Team
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