Meet the team

Caroline Budge, Manager

Caroline became Manager in March 2018 and is responsible for the direction of the agency as its work in Nelson Tasman continues to grow to meet ongoing demand. She has been with Age Concern Nelson Tasman since 2014 and is passionate about supporting older people in our community, offering them a wide range of free events, both educational and celebratory. Caroline is particularly interested in increasing social connection opportunities and working in collaboration with the wider community.

You can email Caroline on

Mal Drummond, Elder Abuse Response Advisor

Mal brings to the team a vast background and experience in supporting people through family violence. Mal’s role includes elder abuse awareness and prevention, and supporting the victims of elder abuse. The role also includes educating older people, their family/whanau, health professionals and those working with and supporting the older person.

You can email Mal on


Susan Arrowsmith, Accredited Visitor Service and Carer Relief Co-ordinator.

Susan coordinates the Accredited Visitor Service, matching clients and volunteer visitors, as well as the Carer Relief services, which matches clients and volunteer relief carers. We recognise that many older people experience loneliness and isolation and that this seriously affects their well-being. Susan’s role involves recruiting, screening and training volunteers who then visit weekly to provide companionship to these people. This service has recently expanded into the Motueka and Golden Bay regions.

You can email Susan at

Marrit Walstra-Russell, Community Support Co-ordinator

Marrit joined the team in May 2017 as our new Community Support Co-ordinator, a role we created in response to the growing services we’re providing. Marrit joined us from Summerset in the Sun, where she was Activities Coordinator for four years. In her varied role, Marrit really enjoys meeting people in the community through taxi assessments, Tea & Talk, community events or general enquiries. 

You can email Marrit at

Ruth Collingham, AgeConnect Coordinator

AgeConnect Nelson Tasman was established in October 2017  in response to growing awareness that many older people in the region are looking for more socialising opportunities. Ruth has recently joined our team, replacing Breffni O’Rourke as Coordinator. Her role is to link those people with activities, other people, and to raise awareness with everyone that we can all play a part in reducing loneliness.

You can email Ruth at


Miriam Clark, Funding and Communications Officer

Miriam joined Age Concern Nelson Tasman in May 2018 in a new role of funding and communications – ensuring the money keeps rolling in, and people get to hear about the great work we do. Miriam comes with a wide range of experience in writing, research, communications and fundraising.

You can email Miriam at



Farishta Peterson-Ihaka, Elder Abuse Response Advisor, Marlborough

Farisha joined Age Concern Nelson Tasman in September 2018 and provides the invaluable service of Elder Abuse Response Advisor in Marlborough. 



Board of Governance

The Very Rev Charles Tyrrell, QSO – Chair

Jenny Sauer – Vice Chair

Lynley Lee – Secretary

Dave Ashcroft – Treasurer

Rev Andy Joseph – Kaumatua

Helen Reynolds – Member

Urusula Lewis – Member

Chris Tuffnell – Patron