The Adventure Therapy Aotearoa Leadership Group
The ATA leadership group is made up of a team of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to the development of adventure therapy as an industry and Adventure therapy Aotearoa as an organisation. Have a read about our team below!
Amy Horn – Chairperson
Amy started her career as an outdoor instructor and has always had a passion for how the outdoors can support peoples growth and development. She slowly worked towards more therapeutic work and has recently completed her Masters in Counselling! She now works at Adventure Specialties Trust as the Adventure Therapy Manager, represents NZ on the International Committee where she is a a co-chair and is our Chairperson.
Claire Wyatt – Vice Chairperson
Claire currently works as an ACC counsellor and Adventure Therapy Coordinator for Blue Mountain Adventure Centre. She has a Masters in Counselling from Massey University and a Diploma of Teaching. She has previously worked as a clinician for the STOP adolescent programme and prior to that at Adventure Development coordinating adventure based counselling and treatment programmes. She has fourteen years delivering wilderness and adventure-based second chance education and leadership training for young people missed by mainstream education and training others in the use of adventure. Adventure in her own life includes running up anything with a summit, raising two gorgeous teens and singing her heart out when the moment allows.
Helen Jeffery – Treasurer
Helen is an occupational therapist who has worked in a variety of mental health settings over the years. She has maintained an interest in the development of the adventure therapy field, has incorporated elements of adventure therapy into her mental health practice and is an advocate for making elements of adventure therapy mainstream. Helen has also worked as an outdoor instructor and appreciates the benefits of intentional use of facilitated outdoor experiences for groups. Helen currently works as a senior lecturer at the Occupational Therapy school at Otago Polytechnic.
Hannah Smith – Secretary
Hannah is a coach, facilitator and learning designer based in Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington. She combines a background in social enterprise development with a keen interest in eco-therapeutic and adventure-based approaches. She has worked around the world with organisations like the Social Enterprise Academy and the British Council and is an Edmund Hillary Fellow. She is an Associate at Toi Āria and a Night Guide at Zealandia – aka professional kiwi spotter. In her spare time she loves to climb up hills and hang out with trees.
Meg has followed a trail of adventure through guiding, instructing and is now working as the Course Design Manager for Outward Bound New Zealand. Her passion for working with people to develop a deeper connection with themselves, with others and with nature has led her to pursue a Masters in Psychology at University of Canterbury. She is motivated to develop effective and informed ways of supporting the growth and well-being of New Zealanders.
Karla is the managing director and founder of Learn Active in Christchurch which has a focus on working with people with intellectual disabilities in outdoor education. She has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 15 years and holds NZOIA Bush 1 and Rock 1. Her passion lies with supporting people with disabilities to be able to benefit from outdoor education on long term meaningful programmes that add value to their lives. She is excited to be apart of the Adventure Therapy leadership team to promote and support disability. Karla is also a mother to 2 children who enjoy the outdoor family lifestyle and living in the country.
Lina is a nature and adventure lover who works as a coach, ski, and outdoor instructor. Originally from Latvia, Lina came to New Zealand nearly two decades ago after finishing university. She quickly fell in love with Aotearoa and adventure. Lina has spent time living in Europe, The Middle East, South America, and New Zealand. Her life and work experiences have evolved around people, communication, cooperation, coaching, and the outdoors. She has worked with a variety of organisations such as Living Springs, Adventure Specialties, and Sense of Team, Latvia.
Recently Lina and her family returned to Aotearoa from Latvia where she spent the last three years helping to pioneer Adventure Therapy Latvia, direct the first National Adventure Therapy Conference, and represent Latvia in Adventure Therapy Europe, and the Adventure Therapy International Committee.