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THETA is a registered charitable trust, governed by a board of eight members including a Kaitiaki. The current board members are as listed.

Jamie Reidie – Chair & Treasurer

Jamie is the current Chair and Treasurer of THETA, and Partner of Polson Higgs Business Advisors. Originally from Invercargill, Jamie remained in Dunedin after graduating from the University of Otago and joined Polson Higgs in 2010 after returning from his travels overseas.

Jamie enjoys travelling, walking and house renovating. He is also an avid reader and along with his husband, Garth is a foster parent for teenagers.

Wendi Raumati  – Kaitiaki & Trustee

Ko Aoraki toku Mauka
Ko Waitaki toku Awa
Ko Kai Tahu toku Iwi

Wendi is Mother of eight children, Taua of 19 mokopuna, and Great Taua of four mokopuna. She has lived her life within Te Ao Māori, working in Social Services, Public Health and wellbeing for over forty years and is currently employed as Kaiawhina Tumuaki in Dunedin Public Hospital.

Wendi has had the honour of acting alongside her daughters and sons in numerous plays. As Kaitiaki she not only guides THETA within Te Ao Māori but also seeks guidance from her Runanga as needed.

Mike O'Brien  – Trustee

Mike is a THETA Trustee and former Chair. As a Registered Nurse he has held a variety of specialist nursing roles, working both in New Zealand, the Pacific, and further afield. He is the Te Waipounamu Clinical Director, Nursing, for National Public Health Service. He has also worked as a Health Promotion Advisor and has a Master of Public Health from the University of Otago School of Medicine in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.

In his free time Mike enjoys the outdoors with his wife and children, whether it's community tree plantings, surfing at the beach, or rock climbing in the hills.

Suzanne Little – Trustee

Suzanne Little is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Otago. 

Her research areas include Practice and Performance as Research, reflective practice, witnessing and spectatorship, trauma and violence in Performance, mobilities and performance, refugee representation in Performance and care ethics and politics. Suzanne’s work has been published in international journals such as Performance Research and International Theatre Review as well as in books. Her most recent publication is the book Performance, Resistance and Refugees (Routledge, 2023) co-edited with Caroline Wake and Samid Suliman. Suzanne presents papers at conferences and served as the Vice President of The Australasian Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Association (ADSA) – the peak representative body for the region. She is the director of the interdisciplinary ‘Performance of the Real’ University of Otago Research Theme

Suzanne trained as a visual artist, filmmaker and theatre practitioner and has worked as an actor, director, producer, production designer, illustrator, voice and acting coach and marketing manager. Suzanne is the co-founder of Vena Cava Theatre Company and The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

Chris Manley – Secretary

Chris has been a member of Theta’s Board since 2018 and is currently Board Secretary. After thirty years teaching in both Secondary and Intermediate schools, she has spent the last five years as an educator at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and presently at Olveston Historic Home in Dunedin.

She has followed her passion for using theatre techniques and the drama curriculum as a way of supporting young adults for many years and providing them with a friendly, productive, and inclusive environment where they can learn and develop. Chris also considers the role Theta plays to be of paramount importance. Through Theta’s Applied Theatre programmes we can engage students and teachers in meaningful dialogue about real-life issues.

In her spare time, Chris enjoys many exercise activities, including biking, walking, and especially swimming. However, her one true passion is still participating in theatre-making activities and she receives great satisfaction directing and writing plays.

Rasha Abu-Safieh – Trustee

Rasha became the newest Trustee to join THETA in February 2020. Awarded Time Magazine Next-Generation Leader in 2018, Rasha moved to Dunedin the following year as an Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) Fellow. Rasha has 7 years of executive leadership experience, she is the co-founder and former Partnership Director of a successful social enterprise in Palestine and is the winner of the Global SDG & Her Award 2020.

Rasha’s professional skill set includes social entrepreneurship modelling, system change, technology and innovation, organisation management and growth. She is experienced in ICT and education-industry gap frameworks design, empowerment of youth and women, entrepreneurship, remote working, and IT outsourcing. Rasha is a motivational speaker and has recently taken up a position at the University of Otago as IT Projects Manager.

LJ Apaipo – Trustee

LJ was born and bred in Ōtepoti with his siblings Te Reo, Brandon and Tamara. He has been involved in the Ōtepoti hāpori and has worked in Community Development and advocacy, locally and nationally, with vast experience in Youth Work, Social Services, Health, Mental Health and Addictions, and Disability as well as in both Mainstream and Local Government, as well as the NGO sector, in Otago and nationally. 

His current role is as a Consumer Engagement Advisor, Pacific, within He Hoa Tiaki at Te Tāhū Hauora, as well as supporting the Mental Health and Addictions programme. LJ Was the Secretary for Te Waipounamu Māori Rugby Board for their most successful years, creating opportunities for rangatahi. An incumbent Board member of the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust, Mana Pasefika (a National Pacific DPO for Mental Health Addictions & Disability) and of course THETA. 

He has been heavily involved in the haapori in all corners of the motu and continues to support kaupapa that empower equity for all in all systems for Māori, Pacific and Disability.

David Pirie – Trustee

David brings a depth of experience in both mental health promotion and educational leadership to his role with THETA. Working in Public Health as a Health Promotion Advisor for the Southern District Health Board, his work has been largely concerned with Mental Health and Addictions. David leads the Kapehu Project, a youth mental health and resilience survey, and contributes to the Southern District Health Board's psychosocial recovery initiatives.

David chairs the Dunedin Mental Health and Addictions Network.

His interest in the power of the performing arts, including a background in music- in alternative bands - with the odd brush with theatre, underpins his belief in the relevance of Applied Theatre to promote healthy lifestyles.

Become a Trustee

THETA delivers the longstanding and important sexual health programme Sexwise to rangatahi, with opportunities to expand into more programmes with new communities.  We employ one full time manager, and contract director/s and actor/facilitators to tour for part of the year. THETA is currently looking for additional trustees to help guide the organisation.

You have the opportunity to collaborate with experts, enhance your governance experience, apply your skills to benefit communities, and receive reimbursement for your time, all in one.