Our team

Rev Lorraine Francis

Lorraine Francis 1585093771301


Interim Moderator for St Heliers Presbyterian Church

Email:  lorrainefrancis2019@gmail.com




Ming Xie

Ming is our Ministries intern from Taiwan.

A man who believes “Kids always teach us something important to our life”.
Now helping with the children and youth ministry at St Heliers Church.

Learning how to be a kid again.

Email: mingx@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Jill Kayser

Jill Kayser

Transition Facilitator

Email:  jillkaysernz@gmail.com

Jill is a Chaplain at St Andrews Village in Glendowie.
She will be available at our Church Centre on Wednesdays.
Previously National Coordinator for Kids Friendly, part of the Presbyterian Church.

Helen Millard

Helen Millard

Session Clerk:  St Heliers Presbyterian Church

Email:  helen.millard@xtra.co.nz


 Vivian Wu


Vivian started working for the Church and Community Centre in 2005. She started as PA to the Minister for 3 years then became the Accounting person for the Centre, a position she still currently holds.  Vivian is originally from Taiwan and has been living in NZ since 1994

Email: vivianw@sthelierscentre.org.nz

 Mary Nissen

Mary is responsible for the Community Centre bookings and event management. She has been involved in the healthcare industry working in sales & marketing and more recently as a part-time practitioner working from her home-based office.
Mary has 2 university degrees in science and healthcare areas and works part-time at the community centre.
Mary is married to Jon. They have a very spoilt dog called Lucy.
She also is a mature artist.

Email: centre@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Jacqueline Quick

Jacqueline Quick
Jacqui is from the UK where she worked in Grant Making. In 2006 she moved to New Zealand where she has worked in dispute resolution.
Before coming to St Heliers she spent 10 years as a Mediator at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Jacqui has a son Isaac who is at primary school.
She has a BA (Hons) in Social Studies and had completed LEADR Mediator Training with the Resolution Institute

Email: jacquelineq@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Vee Samuel

Born in Wales, of Hungarian/English Heritage, Vee came to New Zealand with her Samoan/English Husband Martin in 1991. Having travelled extensively, she worked in the backpacker industry before her first child Jake was born. When he started at Small Miracles in 1998, the future connection with the Centre was born with all 8 cousins attending over the next 10 years. When her daughter, Tyla was nearing the end of her time there, Vee started working at the “Fun for Fours Programme”. After a few years, she moved into the After School Care department before taking on the Management of Glendowie Community Centre, Co ordinator of Oscars and now Holiday Programmes.

Email: vees@sthelierscentre.org.nz

 Julie De Jong

Julie has a background in Secretarial Administration and Graphic Design in the Insurance and Publishing industries.
Before coming to St Heliers Centre she was doing Market Research for Informed Sources while raising her two 2 children. Prior to this Julie was a Project Administrator at the NZ Herald and PA at AA Insurance.
Julie is currently working on a Diploma of Business Studies in Accounting and Management.

Email: julied@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Ingrid de Villiers


Ingrid is the Head Teacher at Small Miracles. She has been living in New Zealand since 1998. She is married to Toerien and has a daughter, Charlotte.
She graduated with a BA Ed in South Africa where she taught Geography, History and English at Secondary School level.
In New Zealand, she taught English at an English Language School. She also worked as an unqualified pre-school teacher where she decided that this was the career path she wanted to pursue.  Ingrid completed a Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Auckland. She has Full Registration.

Ingrid has been teaching at Small Miracles since 2005. She is passionate about Early Childhood Education and her role at Small Miracles.

“I believe in providing a nurturing environment where each child is encouraged to develop to their fullest potential so that they will thrive and become confident, competent learners and know that they are valued.”

Email: smallmiracles@sthelierscentre.org.nz


Dee Shuter


Dee has been working at Small Miracles since 2012.  She has been working in the early childhood sector for over 20 years. She is married to Adam and has two children; Helena who is studying at university and Fletcher who attends Glendowie College.

Dee has a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and believes that the early years are extremely fundamental to the development of our Tamariki. Dee feels that it is both such a pleasure and a privilege to be part of their early learning journey. Dee has Full Registration.

My own personal and professional philosophy outlines the importance of providing opportunities for our Tamariki to be explorers, encouraging independence and extending their curiosity of the world around them but also to provide a curriculum that is able to balance the serious nature of teaching with joy and humour. I also acknowledge the importance of fostering responsive and reciprocal relationships with both the Tamariki and our wonderful whanau”

Email: smallmiracles@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Julie Gianni

Julie is an Early Childhood Educator with many years of experience as both a Teacher and Head Teacher. She has an Early Childhood Diploma and has Full Registration. She has two married children and has recently become a Grandmother.

I love and have a passion for teaching pre-schoolers. I will, with our team, provide a stimulating and fun environment. I value each child’s strengths, interests and abilities and will extend their learning”

Email: smallmiracles@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Sharon Blackman

Sharon has nearly 30 years teaching experience, completing her teacher training in South Africa and then working in the Early Childhood Sector in New Zealand for the past 19 years in centres as well as running GymbaROO, a neurodevelopment programme for children from birth to 5 years. Sharon is passionate about supporting children to develop to the best of their genetic potential.  Through her interest in sensory and perceptual motor development she is passionate about developing  body control and coordination as this is fundamental for all intellectual functioning and that insufficient motor development is the root cause of many learning hiccups. Outside of work Sharon loves spending time with her husband, three grown up children, family and friends.

“My goal is to support whole child development by providing opportunities for each child to experience success so that they can grow their confidence(emotional intelligence) in order to develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually.”
Email: smallmiracles@sthelierscentre.org.nz

Martha Isabel Vasquez Machado

Martha began working at Small Miracles in June 2016 helping a student who has special needs. She then progressed into a role as an unqualified teacher in October 2016. Since 2015 Martha has also been working in the Oscar program before and after school as well as the School Holiday Program for the St Heliers Community Centre.

She is from Colombia and has been living in NZ since 2015. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Before coming to New Zealand Martha worked in the banking sector for 4 years. Martha believes she has found her true passion in life and absolutely loves working with preschool children.

“I am extremely passionate about children’s learning and development. My job is to help children reach their full potential and encourage them to feel confident and positive about themselves. This always brings a huge smile to my face”

Email: smallmiracles@sthelierscentre.org.nz

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