The Board

The Board consists of six team members who are appointed to agreed skill categories. The role of the Board is to provide effective governance and where required, hands on support. We are fortunate in that we are working in partnership with and have involvement from the Police. As an organisation we are very fortunate to have such an experienced and skilled board that worked very hard to continue the Big Brothers Big Sisters Vision.

Michelle Thompson (CHAIRPERSON)


Pauline has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2011. She began her journey with the organisation as the coordinator. After 3 .5 years in the role, Pauline resigned to pursue other challenges and was bought on to the board. After one year she was elected chairperson. Pauline has a Bachelor Degree in Social Work and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Service Supervision. She has worked in Allied Health and Social Service for over 20 years. This has been in Care and Protection, Disability, Change Management, Community Management. Pauline has a commitment and passion to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program because it works. After many many years of working with young people who are disconnected and isolated from families and communities, Pauline has seen this program connect young people with committed volunteers who enhance and benefit their lives by simply spending time with them on a regular basis.


 Before retiring Margaret owned a Tax Consultancy Business which was in operation for 28 years. During that time Margaret was also the National President of the Taxation Institute of New Zealand and later made a fellow of the Institute. Margaret is also involved in other non-profit organisations in the community. She is married and has two daughters and six grandchildren.


A parent, grandparent of 13 grandchildren and a member of several local charitable trusts and community committees. Ros had been a primary school teacher for 40 years, 20 of these in senior management and Principal positions in low-decile schools in Wellington, Rotorua and Palmerston North. Co-founder of the Plant to Plate Aotearoa primary schools cooking & gardening programme which operates across the Manawatu, and an active participant in womens, seniors and political issues.


Daniel Batley is married with 2 children and has lived in the Manawatu for around 13 years, he is originally from Taranaki where he spent his formative years before moving to Palmerston North in 2005 to attend Massey University where he completed a Bachelor of Resource & Environmental Planning. Today, Dan is self-employed as a personal insurance adviser. Sport is a huge passion of his and he is heavily involved in this locally, particularly in cricket and rugby. Dan put his name forward to join the BBBS of Manawatu board as growing up with a single parent, he personally understands the importance of ongoing enduring relationships. Which was often fulfilled in his life by; teachers, coaches and parents of my friends. Not all kids have this luxury and that’s where BBBS and a big brother or sister can come in, the impact they can have on a child’s life can be amazing. Dan’s main focus is to help BBBS continue its great work and ensure more kids are matched with a big brother or sister in the future.

Tom Gilchrist (BOARD MEMBER)

A born and bred Manawatu local, completing his schooling in Feilding before moving to Wellington to complete a Bachelor of Laws and Commerce. Tom returned to the Manawatu in 2017 and is currently working as a Solicitor in Palmerston North. Having grown up in and around the Manawatu Toms has a strong sense of community and likes to involve himself and give back wherever he can. Tom put his name forward to join the BBBS of Manawatu Board as it is an organisation that he strongly believes in and is keen to be a part of as it continues to go from strength to strength. In his spare time, he can be found in the garage, tinkering with vintage cars or out on the road driving them (before heading back to the garage to fix them!).

Kelly Weaver (BOARD MEMBER)