Presbyterian Support Central

Caring. Enabling. Supporting.

We provide social services 
that support and empower
people and communities
to flourish

The Presbyterian Support Central team includes more than 1600 nurses, social workers, counsellors, care workers, facility managers and other professionals working across rest homes, retirement villages, Family Works centres and out in the community.

Senior Leadership Team

Chris Graham, Chief Executive
Chris Graham has been Chief Executive of Presbyterian Support Central since 2009. Chris started his working life as a lawyer, before moving into the commercial world working for public and multinational companies particularly in the energy sector.

Chris is committed to continuing Presbyterian Support Central’s proud history of caring for and supporting children, young people, adults, older people and families in need. He has a particular focus on ensuring Presbyterian Support Central continues to invest in our current residential facilities so that they are future proofed for the needs of the growing number of elderly in the central region.

Chris is also the Chair of the Wellington Night Shelter Trust which is focused on providing emergency accommodation to homeless men in Wellington and assisting them in their recovery. He is married with two children.

Julia Hennessy, General Manager – Family Works Central
Julia is the General Manager of Family Works Central. She’s been a practicing social worker and senior manager in the area of children and families for more than 20 years. During this time she has spoken to audiences and led training world-wide, as well as contributing to a number of printed resources.

An experienced leader, Julia has led projects in both the UK and New Zealand. This includes the introduction of Family Group Conference and Restorative Justice practices into mainstream service delivery in the UK. She was nominated for the UK Public Servant of the Year award for this work.

Julia is the New Zealand representative on the board of Restorative Practices International (RPI), and an elected Board member on the Cannon’s Creek Opportunity Centre, a community centre in east Porirua. She has previously been the Chair, and Deputy Chair of Restorative Justice Aotearoa (RJA), the national association for restorative practices in New Zealand. She resigned from the RJA Board in August 2015.

Alisha Kennedy, General Manager – External Relations 
Alisha is the General Manager External Relations for Presbyterian Support Central and is responsible for the organisation’s marketing, internal and external communication and fundraising. Alisha’s background is in journalism, but she found her true passion in communications and marketing for organisations that make a real difference in people’s lives. She’s held communications roles with a variety of organisations including the Wise Group, Cancer Society and Ministry of Social Development.

Alisha joined Presbyterian Support Central in 2013, attracted to the organisation’s unique position offering support to not only children and families, but also older New Zealanders. She has a particular interest in using effective communication to build strong communities – both within organisations and externally. She’s passionate about building the brand presence of Presbyterian Support Central and making sure the stories of the organisation and its people and communities are heard.


Nicola Turner, General Manager – Enliven Central
Nicola is the General Manager of Enliven’s residential services; responsible for 16 rest homes and seven retirement villages.

Originally an Occupational Therapist, Nicola left clinical work in the late 1980’s to become Registrar of the Occupational Therapy Board. Since then her career has spanned a range of health management roles, including Quality Manager for the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, Service Manager at Hutt Hospital, Integrated Care Manager and then Older Persons Funding and Planning Manager at Hutt DHB. Nicola joined Presbyterian Support Central in 2007.

Nicola was a member of the NZ Home Health Association Executive for several years, she sits on the older persons policy group of the New Zealand Christian Council for Social Services and has been an Eden in Oz and NZ Board member since January 2009.

The Board

Peter Sherwin (chair)
Peter is a Partner in Grant Thornton New Zealand chartered accountants. He specialises in business development, advisory and succession planning. Peter holds a number of governance and advisory roles with business and public benefit entities.

Marie Callander
Marie began her career in teaching and is now a commercial lawyer in New Plymouth where she works with commercial and not-for-profit entities specialising in governance, commercial and property advice. Marie is a member of the Institute of Directors and former deputy chair of Scripture Union.

Stuart Francis
Stuart is a management and health care consultant. He has a particular interest and involvement in facilitating organisational design and transformation, multi-agency initiatives and national programmes.

So’o Leatigaga
So’o is currently an Economist for New Zealand Post Group. He has extensive experience in corporate strategy services, network economics, financial business case modeling and negotiations in mergers and acquisitions.

Stephen Lorimer
Stephen currently works in the commercialisation office of Victoria University. He was previously on the Board of Presbyterian Support Otago and also sits on a number of national science commercialisation panels.

Chris Nichol
Chris is a director at Mixed Media Ltd. He is an ordained Presbyterian Minister and had held a number of positions within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa. Chris has also had a career in TV where he has worked as a producer, director and presenter.

Ruth Rainey
Ruth has a background in food technology but is now a successful Mangaweka sheep and beef farmer. She has a strong grounding in governance at a community and regional level in both government-funded and not-for-profit organisations. She is a Rangitikei District Councillor.

Nigel Willis
Nigel is an orthopaedic surgeon currently working for Capital and Coast District Health Board, as well as private practice. He is the chair of the National Board of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and is an associated clinical leader at Capital and Coast DHB.