Meet our Board
Alison Howard - Board Chair
The group I attended made such a big difference to me when I was on maternity leave with my first child - I want to make sure as many women who want to can have the same experience I did. I have a business and sustainability background, so I hope I bring skills that will ensure we can continue to bring groups to Wellington women far into the future.
I have two boys born April 2013 and October 2016. My husband is a stay at home dad for our family, which brings its own challenges but it pretty awesome most of the time! These are the sorts of things we talk about in our groups - how we navigate these choices (or lack of choices) and how that plays out in terms of how we feel about ourselves as people, as women and as mothers.
I was in a group in 2013 when I was on maternity leave. I knew I would struggle with being at home with a baby as I'm a strong extrovert - I need lots of adult company! I signed up for heaps of things, but it was the Mothers Network group where I found my people. It meant a lot to me to be able to talk about the loss of identity I felt in becoming a mother, and how amazing I found it that you could feel intense love and misery at the same time, or have no time but be utterly bored! I had to give my self permission to feel negative emotions and still believe in myself as a mother. The group and friends I made from that group really helped me with that.
I think we are all capable of strength when we need it, and I admire most the women who have faced challenges head on, and surprised themselves with what they're capable of. We are women hear us roar!
Leslie Tergas - Board Member
I am mum to two boys in intermediate school and to a daughter that lives in our memories and hearts. My husband and kids share our home with a lovely little Bichon dog.
Like so many women, life is a process of navigating between being a mother, a wife, a professional, and a person! I believe that nurturing all aspects of who I am ultimately make me a better mother.
Motherhood and identity questions are never far away from my mind and heart. It is a hugely important role and yet the experience of motherhood, what it means and how it changes us as women, can be not only hidden but unacknowledged.
I serve on the board of Mothers Network because women can do with spaces to explore motherhood, safe from judgement and as people in their own right. I bring experience in governance, entrepreneurship and social services with an equity lens. I am passionate about the impact that Mothers Network is having now, and can have in the future.
Priya Patel - Board Member
I am a proud mama of two and was fortunate to join a Mothers Network group soon after returning home from overseas. Connecting to a community of women who understand the highs and lows of motherhood and rediscovering myself through the journey was an unexpected but wonderful part of the experience. I got so much out of it myself, I wanted to give back to the organisation. Soon after I attended facilitation training soon and then co-facilitated my first group. I joined the Board in August 2020.
My professional career has been in HR both here and the 10 years I lived abroad. For me, Mothers Network is an incredibly important and supportive space for mothers to be our whole selves.
Madeleine Taylor - Board Member
My ancestors came from Scotland, Ireland and England over four generations ago. I grew up under the shelter of Mt Meredith next to the Whareama River, however, Mount Ruapehu is close to my heart. The Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the cloak that is wrapped around me. I live in Wellington with my husband. We have three adult sons and a cat.
I work as a People Skills Consultant and am passionate about collaborating with people to find answers that support them to achieve their goals. I have maintained my professional identity as a social worker having been a member of ANZASW since about 1982. I support leaders, staff, managers, and families often within complex environments and tricky issues of grief and loss, negotiation, influencing and managing difficult behaviours.
I am an accomplished facilitator and long-time trainer. I also provides professional supervision and leadership coaching across a range of professions. I handle tough issues in a way which while remaining sensitive is also playful.
I am a:
I chose to step into a Board role to support the next generation of folk doing great things. Specifically onto Mothers Network as mothering is such an important and powerful role and I want to support communities that help mothers to flourish.
Emma Bramwell - Board Member
In 2017 I attended a ‘Working Mums Group’ through Mothers Network and gained an enormous amount from being able to share joys and stresses with other mothers. I have since joined the Board and trained to be a Mothers Network facilitator, and especially enjoy the challenge of bringing a group together, initiating discussions, and watching friendships grow.
I have two children who constantly amaze and exhaust me, one of whom wouldn’t be with us without the wonders of modern medicine. Everyone’s motherhood journey is different. But what I love most about Mothers Network is how it connects women through shared experiences, and creates the time for us to both focus on ourselves and support others on this crazy, wild ride that is motherhood.
I have a background in HR and research, and experience of working in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. After years of working in offices, in 2016 I began to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. My new career is exhausting but it's an incredible privilege to care for people when they really need it.
Elissa Jordan - Board Member
The journey into Motherhood for me was a lonely and confusing time. I went looking for community and connection when I signed up to a Mothers Network group, and I found it, but not as I expected - instead it came by way of becoming first a volunteer, helping to revamp the Mothers Network website, and then by joining the Board and most recently by completing the facilitator training. Helping to champion and craft tools of support for other Mothers helped me find peace in the knowledge that maybe, just maybe, another Mother might have an easier go of things.
I’m Mom to Jack, an active, curious, social and fiercely independent toddler. He is my pride and my joy.
I’ve got a professional background in digital project management, working exclusively for not-for-profits. In addition to this I am a yoga teacher, a wine educator and a member of the Babywearing Wellington Committee.