A variety of researchers and evaluators interested in youth health and development:

Sue Bagshaw (BSc (Hons) MB BS FAChSHM Hon FRNZCGP CNZM) works as a primary care doctor specialising in adolescent health at a one stop community youth health centre for 10-25 year olds, which she helped to set up, under a new trust called Korowai Youth Well-being Trust.  She is a part time senior lecturer in adolescent health in the department of Paediatrics at the Christchurch School of Medicine. She spent 20 years working for the Family Planning Association in Christchurch and ten years working part time on the Methadone programme in Christchurch: which is why she has interests in common with young people – sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!

Sharon Gardner (MA Clinical Psychology) is an experienced researcher having worked in academic and community research including working with children and young people. Sharon moved to New Zealand in 2014 from India and has worked in medical research in particular meta-analyses with a strong focus on qualitative data at the University of Otago . She has international experience working as a psychologist and researcher conducting psychological tests and managing research projects. She has extensive experience in data management and analysis and experience in conducting qualitative interviews. She has been involved with the Collaborative since 2014 starting out as a volunteer and moving on to doing research for them and is very passionate about positive youth development and well-being.

Jane Higgins (PhD) has worked in youth transitions research since the early 1990s, most recently as a senior research fellow at Lincoln University where she was a co-principal investigator on two projects – a Royal Society Marsden-funded project, ‘In Transition: How the Children of the Economic and Social Reforms Articulate Identity at the Child-Adult Border’, and a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funded project, ‘Education– Employment Linkages for Young People’ (www.eel.org.nz). She has recently co-authored (with Karen Nairn and Jude Sligo) The Children of Rogernomics: A Neo-liberal Generation Leaves School, published in 2012 by Otago University Press. Jane has also provided research and evaluation services to a range of community organisations

Nicola Morton is currently working towards her PhD in psychology at the University of Canterbury. Prior to this, she spent five years at Statistics New Zealand working as a survey developer and data analyst, and for a Wellington-based research consultancy firm. Primarily a quantitative researcher, Nicola has worked on a wide range of research and evaluation projects in the public policy and non-profit sectors. She's also a dab hand at infographics, and is passionate about reporting data in more accessible and interesting ways.

Cheyenne Scown (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāi Te Rangi) is working towards a PhD in Health Sciences at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | The University of Canterbury. The focus of her PhD is exploring the relationship between trauma-informed care and indigenous understandings of healing and trauma within a specific mental health context in Ōtautahi| Christchurch. Her academic background is in Psychology, Human Development and Child and Family Psychology and she has worked with children and young people in past roles for Stand Children’s Services and Oranga Tamariki. She is currently involved with qualitative research projects for The Collaborative Trust which have an evaluative component. Her research interests centre around improving outcomes for tamariki Māori, rangatahi Māori and their whānau.

Janet Spittlehouse (PhD) Janet has 17 years experience, mainly as a quantitative researcher, in both the UK and New Zealand. She also has experience in qualitative research. Janet gained her PhD from the University of Otago in 2017 and she continues her research there as a Research Fellow and Principal Investigator for a depression study, working with data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Janet’s research interests are mental health, wellbeing, sexual minority health and well-being, hoarding disorder, depression and personality.

Sarah Wylie (MA (hons) completed her MA in psychology at the University of Canterbury in 1993. After working as a researcher and research analyst in central government departments, Sarah moved to Christchurch and has worked as an independent social researcher and evaluator since 1997.  Sarah is primarily a qualitative researcher, with some quantitative research experience. Sarah has undertaken an extensive range of research and evaluation projects, including many needs assessment and strategy development projects for local government, research in the social service sector and with a broad range of populations. Projects for the Collaborative Trust include evaluation of a leadership development programme, evaluation of a programme for children and service mapping research.


Researchers from our team not currently working on Collaborative projects

Candace Bobier (BA hons, MSc) Originally from New York State, USA, Candace trained in Health Psychology at City University London and has worked within the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) as a Research Associate since 1999 predominantly in the Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service.  She has been involved in a number of research projects with the CDHB, Clarity Research and the Collaborative Trust.

Cathy Cooper PGCertHealSci (Addiction and Co-Existing Disorders), M.Ed (Child & Family Psyc, Cert. in Counselling) has a background in qualitative research and enjoys her work with the Collaborative Trust. Cathy’s research interests include the impact of the family environment on learning and behaviour including behaviour change, and forensic psychology with specific interest in the impact of youth mental health and substance use on offending. Cathy benefits greatly from the wisdom gained by listening to young people.

Sarah McKay (BA Community & Family Studies) is a qualitative researcher, focusing on community based research and evaluation. She has been involved in a number of research projects with The Collaborative Trust such as an investigation into the health needs of young people in CYF residential care and an evaluation of an adventure therapy programme. Sarah specialises in focus groups, interviews and qualitative data analysis with a particular interest in youth health issues. 

Kelly Pope has a BA in sociology and has also completed a National Diploma in Mental Health Support Work. She is working as a coordinator for the regional mental health and addictions consumer network – Awareness and is based at MHAPS (Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support Trust). Kelly is particularly interested in youth mental health and has been involved in qualitative research projects in this area, as well as consumer participation and leadership work.

Fiona Rice – (BA, BICT) completed her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English at the University of Canterbury. She completed her Bachelor of Information and Communication Technologies at Canterbury Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Since then she has worked as a technical writer and web developer. Fi now runs a document development business. Fi has involved with the Collaborative Trust since 2012 and is passionate about research involving youth. 

Louise Tapper (PhD) is primarily an education researcher, with a specialisation in gifted and talented education. She is an experienced teacher educator and parent educator. Her research interests are around themes relating to culture and context, social justice, and the development of adolescent identity. Louise is a qualitative researcher, with experience in phenomenology as a research method and theory, in the interview process as a strategy of inquiry, and in including student voice in the research process. She is enjoying being involved in a number of projects with the Collaborative Trust.

Mark Turner (PhD) worked in youth mental health research for 13 years and was co-Chair of the Research Committee of the collaborative until July 2013, when he took up full-time employment with CERA looking at psycho-social recovery in greater Christchurch. Mark has since moved on to work at Statistics New Zealand on the 2018 Census, and now works part-time so as to be able to continue working in the youth health and development area. Mark is predominantly a quantitative researcher, but has moved towards qualitative and mixed-methods evaluations in recent years, having seen the light.

If you are interested in joining or finding out further information about being a Collaborative Trust Contractor please go to info@collaborative.org.nz