Our People

Quick Exit
Hide My Visit

Family VIP Services Board

We are governed by a dedicated and diverse voluntary board of trustees, who are from our community and bring with them their own experience and expertise. We are committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse trust membership to ensure quality governance. 

Family VIP Services Board

Karina Campbell


Karina was appointed as a trustee in 2019 and became Chair in 2021. Karina has many years' experience across strategy and governance in public and private sectors in Ireland and New Zealand (which is home for the past 20 years).

She is passionate about growing, supporting, and enabling Family VIP Services team to help Hawke’s Bay families live violence free.

Skills that Karina brings to the table include change management, leadership, and project management. “We have a strong team in our Board and in Family VIP Services and I am keen to continue to build the support and services for families – men, women and children, raise awareness and prevent family violence for Hawke’s Bay”.

George Lyons

Deputy Chair

With a background in farming and as a mediator, former Hastings District Councillor and School Trustees Association mentor, George has been relishing the opportunity to lend his governance experience to give back to the community through Family VIP.

He finds it rewarding to be able to use his skills in the context of an organisation focused on assisting and uplifting vulnerable people in our community. George feels humble witnessing the dedication and hard work of the staff and volunteers of Family VIP and enjoys playing a small part in the organisation’s Hawke’s Bay operation.

Priscilla Amer


Priscilla was appointed as trustee in December 2021. Priscilla brings a wealth of accounting and business advisory knowledge, as a self-employed Chartered Accountant - Priscilla Amer CA based in Napier.

Priscilla is an enthusiastic problem solver with a passion for helping people achieve their goals, both in business and in life. After much deliberation on where she wanted to apply her skills and spare time, Priscilla applied to become a trustee because she believes the work the trust does is life changing for all people affected by family violence; and the prevention of family violence is a cause she is very passionate about.

Sheryl Smith


Sheryl has been on the FVIP Board for some years. She brings a client and staff well-being focus, along with strong ethical reasoning, social service management experience and a social justice lens.

Sheryl has worked in both the public and private sectors, mostly in communities as a health professional and manager of services for 30 years. She comes from the mighty Waikato and has made Hawke’s Bay her home for over 10 years.

Liz O'Connor


Liz O’Connor has recently come to Hawkes Bay from Palmerston North where she and her husband brought up their three daughters. She brings experience in project management for a property development company, human resources for a dental company and 30 years teaching and guiding teenagers in vocal and performance skills.

Liz grew up in Hastings and moved away for university, so she feels lucky to have been able to come home and give back to her favourite community. She is deeply passionate about helping to protect and empower vulnerable families through her role as a board member.

Deidré Venter


Deidré Venter, originally from South Africa, lived four years in the United Arab Emirates before making Hawke's Bay her home in 2021.

As an Occupational Therapist, Deidré is passionate about creating positive change within the community. Currently serving as the Service Development Lead at the Heretaunga Women's Centre, she sees firsthand the challenges women and their families face in our region.

Through her experiences, Deidré firmly believes in the power of working together through collective advocacy and education for a safer, healthier, and more inclusive community.

Family VIP Services Staff

Julie Hart

Business Manager

Julie has volunteered locally and nationally for Women’s Refuge since she first started volunteering for Hastings Women’s Refuge in 1994.

Her commitment of time, leadership, passion, and professionalism has contributed to the support, healing and empowerment of women and children who have been affected by family violence in Hawke’s Bay.

Although she has now become a paid member of staff, she still helps cover the 24-hour crisis line and contributes in many other ways outside of her paid work.

Julie received a Zonta Hawke’s Bay Woman of Achievement Award in 2019.

How You Can Help

Supporting Family VIP Services helps us continue to provide positive assistance to Hawkes Bay  families affected by family violence.. We rely on financial contributions and a network of volunteers to be able to continue to offer our services. Donations of money, time, services and items assist us with our work.

Find out More

Our Sponsors