Whakatipu Youth Trust

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Our team

Our team

Jacqui – General Manager

Jacqui originates from Auckland and has been living and working in Queenstown for over a decade. She has raised two children, now both adults. Her passion for young people grew through training and volunteering for Youthline and during the course of completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. Following these experiences and through her own personal understanding of raising a child with Aspergers, Jacqui worked in both Intermediate and Primary schools with children who had both behavioural and learning difficulties. This led her to complete a Graduate Diploma in Teaching prior to moving to Queenstown. Jacqui loves working in the community as both a Manager and a Senior Youth Support Worker and continues to enjoy mentoring and advocating for the youth of the Whakatipu area and celebrating all that they contribute to our community.

Kirsty – Administrator

Kirsty originates from Northampton, England but has called Queenstown home for the past 7 years! Drawn in by the mountains and adventure, Kirsty is grateful to call New Zealand home.

You will find Kirsty paddling around the lake in the Summer, or walking on one of our beautiful trails and snowboarding on the mountains in Winter, although not as much as she’d like these days, since having her first child last year!

Kirsty is passionate about youth and our community and is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work, with the hopes to become a Social Worker in the future.


Leah – Clinical Manager and Youth Counsellor

Leah is from South West Sydney and has just moved back to Queenstown from Aus. Leah first came to Queenstown in 2018 for a ski season, as she is an avid snowboarder and fell in love with the mountains, town life and the uniqueness that New Zealand has to offer. Leah has a Bachelor in Social Work (Honours) and has experience working with vulnerable children, young people and their families and most recently she was a Domestic and Family Violence Counsellor. Not only will you find Leah riding a snowboard, she will be shredding dirt on her mountain bike, hiking mountains, balancing in tree pose and hanging out with family and friends.

Leah has a passion for supporting young people to build confidence, acceptance and vital skills for managing life.

Grace – Youth Practitioner

Grace moved over to Queenstown from the UK at the beginning of 2023. She came to New Zealand looking for adventure and fell in love with the landscape and the wonderful people. Grace has a Bachelor in Psychology (Honours) and has worked in various therapeutic youth hubs back in the UK. She loves the creative freedom in youth work and has a passion for exploring different channels to help young people build their self-esteem. Grace is super excited to connect with the youth of Whakatipu and support them in finding their voice. On her days off, you can find her on a paddleboard, with a paintbrush or rummaging through pre-loved treasures the op-shops.

Liz – Youth Practitioner

Liz is a long term (20+ years) Arrowtown local, with a few years spent living overseas.

Liz is mum to two young boys and has a passion for helping young people foster a strong sense of self. Liz is neurodivergent, has a strong sense of social justice and is passionate about supporting and advocating for families.

Liz is in the final year of a Bachelor of Social Work with Hons degree and in her spare time should be writing her dissertation. Liz states its more likely you will find her fuelling her interest based nervous system with coffee and riding mountain bikes with her boys.

Youth Development Team

Lee-Ann – Youth Development Manager

Lee-Ann grew up in the small coastal town of Timaru where she spent most of her time involved in sports. Her passion for supporting youth started there while competing and coaching in netball, athletics and basketball. She moved to Queenstown for a change after spending most of her adult life in Christchurch after completing a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. She has experience working in the Family and Youth Courts and is currently studying towards a Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction and Post Graduate Diploma in Education specializing in Counselling. Lee-Ann has always had a passion for being active and in her spare time you will find her riding her mountain bike, running up a local mountain or playing with her border collie Lady.   

Richie – Youth Support Worker

Self claimed upgraded version 2.0!  

Some of you might remember Richie as a blast from the past having been with us as a youth worker a few years ago. He is a long time Queenstown local and recently returned home after a couple years in the North Island. Richie is a super passionate individual and always ready for a challenge. He’s very excited to get stuck back in and connect with the rangatahi of the Whakatipu.

Esmée – Youth Support Worker

Born and raised in The Netherlands, Esmée is fast adapting to NZ life and culture. Dubbed as the op-shop queen by her friends and family, she loves dressing up and finding gems at secondhand stores. You will find her in the hills, by the lake, or realigning her chakras with some yoga.
Esmée worked for the Lakes Weekly Bulletin as a graphic designer for two years. Never afraid of a challenge, all of a sudden Esmée was a stilt walking butterfly and a light up fairy at Luma thanks to a new gig with Flame Entertainment! Continuing the challenge, you can now hear her from 7pm-midnight on Radio Central and working for the Whakatipu Youth Trust.
As a Youth Engagement Facilitator, she loves being a positive influence for young people. You’ll find her playing games and chatting away with the teens.

Hope – Youth Support Worker

Kia Ora!

Ko Hope tōku ingoa (my name is Hope). I’m a north island born NZ citizen and I’ve just recently relocated to the beautiful Queenstown from Australia where I had been residing for 10 years. I am very passionate in youth support work and have experience in supporting youth from a range of multi-cultural and diverse backgrounds. In my spare time you’ll find me weight training in the gym, going on hikes/walks and spending quality time with my whānau. I look forward to meeting all of you and supporting you through your youth, and development, in becoming the best version of yourself.

Charles – Youth Support Worker

Tena koutou Tena koutou Tena tātou katoa

Ko Makeo te maunga Makeo is my ancestor mountain

Ko Waiaua te awa Waiaua is my river

Ko Omarumutu te marae

Ko Tūtāmure te tangata Tūtāmure is my ancestor

Ko Tūtāmure te whare tīpuna Tūtāmure is the name of my
Ancestral house

Ko Ngāti Rua te hapū Ngāti Rua is my sub tribe

Ko Whakatōhea te iwi Whakatōhea is my tribe

Ko Nuku Tere me Mātaatua nga Waka. Nuku Tere and Mātaatua
are the canoes that my ancestors sailed from Hawaiki nui ( ancestral homeland)
to Aotearoa.

No Ōpōtiki ahau . I am from Ōpōtiki. (East coast bay of

Ko Charles Frederick Legget Amo amo tōku ingoa. Charles
Frederick Legget Amo amo is my name.

Kaua e mate wheke

Mate ururoa.

Maori proverb never give up.

Kia kaha Be strong

Kia maia Be braveKia manawanui Be steadfast.

Chur! I’ve been in Queenstown for 3 years now. I have a
passion for Te Ao Māori, outdoor adventures, including – trail running, hiking,
having breakfast on a mountain, watching the sunrise, fishing mahinga kai and
I’m very passionate about helping Rangatahi .

The taiaha is a maori weapon and it is weided and handled
with thee utmost respect the same respect we have for our Tīpuna(ancestors)

No reira tena koutou tena koutou tena tātou katoa.

Whakatipu Youth Trust

4a/15 Red Oaks Drive
Frankton, Queenstown

9:30am - 6pm (Mon to Fri)

3:30pm - 6pm (Mon to Fri)

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