MOH Project Team members

The Gravida “Improving Maternal and Child Nutrition & Physical Activity Workforce Development Service” Project has an multi-disciplinary team.

Susan Miller, Lead Project Manager


Susan is the lead Project Manager for this project and heads the overall development and consultation process. She coordinates the Project Advisory Group, works closely with MOH, Gravida and UniServices management and manages the project team. She has previously worked as a Project Manager and team manager for the NZ Guidelines Group, Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) and Mission Australia (residential facility for homeless women) and other NGOs in Auckland as well as being a skills trainer for the Certificate in Small Business Management course at University Te Wananga o Aotearoa. Susan trained as a lawyer.

Jackie Gunn, Lead Curriculum Developer, blended e-learning

(0.5 FTE)

Jackie is the Lead Curriculum Developer for this project. The team of curriculum developers includes Carol Bartle (0.2) from NZ College of Midwives, Zoe Tipa (0.2) from Plunket and Sonia Rapana (0.1) from Tipu Ora (Well Child/Tamariki Ora provider and Whanau Ora organisation).

Jackie has previously worked as the Head of Midwifery at AUT University for more than 20 years and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the AUT Midwifery Dept (0.5). She has been in Midwifery education and practice for over thirty years. Jackie is a foundation and life member of the College of Midwives, and is the College’s national education consultant.

Dr Anne Jaquiery, Clinical Lead

Clinical oversight of the project is provided by Dr Anne Jaquiery. A full biography is available on Gravida’s website here.

Senior Research Assistant


A new staff member starts in this position in January 2013.

Aimee Brock, Communications & Web Consultant

(Part-time Monday-Wednesday)

Aimee looks after the development of our programme's communications and web activities and liaises with other organisations to ensure a steady flow of news on our progress. She has previously worked as a Communications Manager and contractor in the government, NGO and public health sectors including at ProCare Health PHO, The National Heart Foundation, Child Cancer Foundation, ATEED and NZTE. Aimee has a BCS and began her career as a journalist.

Rob Berg, Consultant Project Manager

(Part-time Tuesdays only)

Rob is responsible for developing the Project Plan for the development phase of our project, as well as the Annual Plan for 2014. He has a background in project, strategic and change management and has worked in with various NGOs, local government as well as in the health sector, specifically mental health and primary care. Rob has a BSc (Hons), PGdipBUS and is currently completing his MBA.

Fuji Kato, Project Administrator

(Part-time Tuesdays & Thursdays)

Fuji is our project’s administrator and is responsible for supporting the lead Project Manager and project team members with administration assistance.

Academic Advisors:

Dr Anne Jaquiery, Clinical Lead (as above)

Dr Mary Hedges, Economic Assessor

Mary is involved in assessing the economic and societal impact of our project. Dr Hedges is part of the Centre for Longitudinal Research (University of Auckland). She is also an Investigator with Gravida. Her current research projects are using economic modelling to analyse the lifecourse cost-benefit for the study ‘Growing Up in ’ as well as the Gravida-funded ‘International Healthy Start to Life’ project. Read more.

Jacquie Bay, Evaluation Lead

Jacquie leads the design and development of the critical evaluation process for our project. Jacquie is the Director of LENScience, a science education and translation programme supported by Gravida funding at the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland). LENScience programmes enable teachers, students and scientists to work together in education activities that promote the development of scientific and health literacy and associated capabilities. LENScience uses a blended model of context-embedded school-based learning modules, face-to-face workshops and online learning. Programmes support adolescents to explore and develop understanding of scientific research evidence including the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), a concept that demonstrates the potential of adolescents to significantly alter future noncommunicable disease risk for themselves and their potential children. Teacher professional development programmes recognise that teachers across the curriculum have a vital role in health and science education. Jacquie leads research at the Liggins Institute looking at public perceptions of the relationship between nutrition throughout the lifecourse and disease risk. Read more.

Dr Wendy Lawrence, Healthy Conversation Skills Training Programme Lead

Dr Wendy Lawrence is leading the consultation and adaptation of our project’s future “Healthy Conversation Skills” training programme for ’s maternal and child services workforce. Dr Lawrence is a Research Psychologist, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton (UK). She is a Chartered Health Psychologist with a particular interest in translating research observations into activities to bring about behaviour change to improve population health. As part of the Southampton Initiative for Health, the main focus of her work in recent years has been the development and delivery of a training intervention to change staff practice, enhancing their skills for empowering patients/clients to improve their lifestyles, in particular their diets and physical activity levels. Dr Lawrence works in the UK but will visit regularly during the programme’s development to engage with stakeholders. Read more.

Dr Yannan Jiang, Statistician

Yannan provides advice on our project’s design, data monitoring, statistical analysis and reporting, and offers expert review. She is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Statistics and a Senior Statistical Consultant at the Statistical Consulting Centre (University of Auckland), working collaboratively with research staff and students in the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences as well as external clients. Read more.

Project Advisory Group Members:

Aimee Rensford

Ministry of Health (

Judith Hammond

Gravida (/)

Susan Miller

Gravida (/)

Darryl Bishop

Heart Foundation (

Mafi Funaki-Tahifote

Heart Foundation (

Anne Jaquiery

Gravida (/)

Jacquie Bay

LENScience (

Karen Magrath

Plunket (

Helen Connors

Plunket (

Karen Guilliland

NZ College of Midwives (

Lesley Dixon

NZ College of Midwives (

Siobhan Bulfin

Social Code (

Sonia Rapana

Tipu Ora (

Megan Tunks

Health Promotion Agency (

Isis McKay

Women’s Health Action Trust (

Purvi Chhiachhia

Indo-Asian Community Representative