Our Team

Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust was formed in July 2014 by concerned citizens wanting to make a difference to our suicide statistics in New Zealand.

The Trust was formed because there was very little support available to families bereaved by suicide or those that are suicidal. We provide much needed support and give a voice to the thousands of families devastated by suicide.

Contact our Co- General Managers
Corinda Taylor: contact@lifematters.org.nz
Clare Curran: message@lifematters.org.nz

How We Operate

The Trust receives no funding from the Government. Instead, funding applications cover all operational costs. Many generous sponsors have helped by giving funds and also helping with fundraising campaigns. We welcome donations which go towards supporting those in need and training in suicide prevention.

How Do We Serve Our Community

Our aim is to reduce the suicides in our country by promoting suicide prevention strategies, educating and supporting our community, raising awareness about suicide by breaking the stigma and supporting those bereaved by it. Most of our work is done out of the Hope Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Meet the Team

Corinda

Co-General Manager

Kia ora, I am Corinda Taylor. My most important job is that as a mother and wife. I lost my beloved son Ross, aged twenty, to suicide in March 2013 due to failures of the system and individuals. Because I believe that Ross’ suicide could have been prevented and due to the lack of support after his suicide, I called a public meeting to connect with like-minded people. I am the founding member of the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. My aim is to make sure that nobody struggles to get help when they ask for it. From this end, a petition was started with Denise’s help and we delivered it to the House of Representatives, and respectfully requested a comprehensive independent nationwide Inquiry into Mental Health Services to be conducted to determine if current services meet the requirements and if future planning is adequate to meet future demand. We hope that the growing nationwide support will help us to make sure that nobody should die in despair and alone in the health care system. Zero suicide in health care is my aim.

Clare

Co-General Manager

Between 2008 and 2020 Clare was the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin South before retiring at the 2020 election. Clare was a committed local member of parliament, advocating and representing her constituents, particularly on issues related to housing, health, mental health and equality. She was a staunch voice for the South Dunedin suburbs, especially after the significant 2015 floods. Alongside her role as a Co-General Manager for Life Matters, Clare chairs the board of the Dunedin Night Shelter.

Carolyn

Chair

Carolyn is the Chair of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. She is extremely passionate about mental health and the breaking the stigma that it creates.  How many people actually stop and realise that we all have mental health, as we all have a brain, and just like physical health each one of us is going to have mental health struggles throughout our life, however the stigma often stops us from speaking up and then we lose hope partially because we are scared of the stigmatisation. Hope is often lost in the depths of mental health, but if we create hope through action, we can show those struggling that there is light through having hope. Hope was not something Carolyn always had through her own mental health struggles years ago, and the death of her sister through suicide, but now she focusses with others through being involved in Life Matters on creating hope through support and education. We are all in this together and together we can create hope to help those that are struggling to see it.

Michael

Treasurer

Growing up in Dunedin, I have local roots and am grateful to be able to help where I can in the community. I have over 10 years' experience as a Chartered Accountant and work with boards of both for-profit and non-profit entities to help them achieve their goals. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, a round of golf and mountain biking.

James

Trustee and Peer Supporter

Kia Ora, I have been fortunate to be involved in Life Matters for the past 4 years. In capacity as a volunteer, peer supporter and, now, Trustee. Being in the fortunate position of being on the ground and also part of the business side of the trust allows me that inside perspective many are not privy too. Being on boards from the age of 16 I have had the ability to professionally grow across a range of fields. I am also very privileged to be of Ngai Tahu decent and have the lived experience of bereavement from suicide at a young age. If you see me around don’t be afraid to stop for a chat!!

Kristin

Trustee

Kristin is an employment lawyer at a specialist workplace law firm. Kristin carried out her studies at Otago University and has recently relocated to Dunedin. Kristin is passionate about giving back to the community and has previously volunteered for Community Law Otago and Youthline Southland.  

Simon

Trustee

The work that Life Matters undertakes is close to my heart. Being part of this work gives me the chance to lend my skills and knowledge to a cause I have thought about daily for the past four years. My career has revolved around relationship building, both in the public and private sectors. I am currently the Relationship Manager for Alvarium Wealth, an investment firm based in Auckland. Outside of work you’ll find me on the golf course, in the surf, or spending time with my partner and friends.

Claudia

Administrator and Peer Supporter

Hey I'm Claudia! I am a postgraduate psychology student at the University of Otago. I've always enjoyed listening to other people's problems and I appreciate how uplifting it can be for others to talk to someone else about what is going on in their life. I love being a part of such an awesome team here at Life Matters and seeing the positive impact we have on individuals, as well as the community.

Jade

Office Manager and Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Jade and I've just finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Originally from Vietnam, I decided to volunteer at the Hope Center to give back to the Dunedin community that has given me endless opportunities over these past 4 years. I believe that every member of the community can positively contribute to someone’s wellbeing & not just health professionals. I ultimately want to support others and help them navigate the mental health system and get the best care possible.


Jemma

Office Administrator & Peer Supporter

Hi everyone! I’m Jemma – a mum of two, student, administrator and peer supporter here at the Hope Centre. When I’m not working, studying, or spending time with my family, you’ll find me with my nose in a good fantasy book. Having the opportunity to support my local community is something I’m thankful for, and I look forward to hearing some of your stories and getting to know you at the Hope Centre.

Bev

Peer Supporter

Hello, I'm Bev. I work for Campus Watch at the University of Otago. I've been with Life Matters from the beginning where I met Corinda and Denise. I'm passionate about mental health because I know things can change with a simple conversation.

Joy

Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Joy Larson. I am married and we have three boys. James and his partner live in Central Otago, and Matthew and his wife live in Scotland. Our first born son, Mark, died in Oct 2003. I worked in Education (Primary School) for over 25 years. I was involved with both children and parents and loved being able to help them. I then decided on a new direction and trained in March 2020 to become a Peer Support Person. I feel that I have a lot of life experiences that will help many people. I am very privileged to be involved as a Peer Supporter with Life Matters. I love the Life Matters philosophy and want to support those affected by suicide and or mental health.

Cass

Peer Supporter

Hey there, I am Cass, originally from the outsides of Wellington, I made my way down to Dunedin where I am in my third year of university studying neuroscience and psychology. In between studying and spending time with friends, you will find me getting out and about and playing hockey and handball. Painting is another one of my hobbies.


Olivia

Peer Supporter

Hi, I'm Olivia! I am a student at Otago, studying Psychology and Education. I was born and raised in the United States, but I moved out to New Zealand after high school. I am passionate about mental health awareness and am hoping to become a licensed therapist in the future :)

Samuel

Peer Supporter

Hey my name is Sam! I am passionate about mental health and love a good deep yarn about anything under the sun! I study pharmacy, play guitar & help serve in my church.

Nicky

Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Nicky. I have been tutoring until recently, including working for Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi teaching their Kai Oranga (Healthy Food) kaupapa. This program focused on the positive wellbeing of the individual and their whanau, including their mental and spiritual wellbeing. Therefore, I am passionate about the support the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust offers when an individual’s wellbeing is being challenged or during a time of bereavement due to suicide. I myself, lost my 22 year old son Matthew in 2012 and it was virtually impossible to find support for this at the time and my mental wellbeing suffered as a result. Due to my life experiences I wish to support those that are also  affected by challenges to their mental wellbeing or by suicide. Training to be a Peer Supporter with Life Matters has given me an opportunity to ensure that others are not alone when things feel really bad.

Mitch

Peer Supporter

Hello! I am Mitch, I am currently a student of Clinical Psychology. All my life, I have been passionate about supporting others towards their mental health and wellbeing. My own struggles and personal experience with mental health have driven me to give back to the community as much as I can to support others with their own journeys. I believe that what Life Matters does is so empowering, and it is amazing to be part of a team so impactful in people’s lives.

Petra

Peer Supporter

Hello, I’m Petra. I’m a 3rd year student at the University of Otago and I study psychology and neuroscience. I grew up in Brisbane, Australia and moved to Dunedin 2 years ago to start my degree. I’m passionate about mental health and wanting to spend my life helping as many people as I can. When I’m not studying or volunteering, you’ll find me at the climbing gym, out on a scenic walk or tucked up in bed with a good book.


Cuba

Peer Supporter

Hey everyone! My name is Cuba and I’m studying Anthropology and Japanese at Otago Uni. I am very artistic, love everything to do with paints and pencils, and ultimately want to work in the intersection between art, anthropology, and mental health. I think expression and wellbeing go hand and hand, and I love that peer support creates the space where self-expression is valued.

Maddie

Peer Supporter

Hey everyone, my name is Maddie and I am a peer supporter here at Life Matters. I am a third year student at the Otago Polytechnic studying a Bachelor of Applied Science in Exercise and Health and I am originally from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. I have grown up living with a respiratory medical condition and I have learnt to face challenges along the way and hope to inspire others to do the same. If I am not studying or volunteering, you will find me at the gym and moving my body or getting a coffee with a friend! I am an advocate for self care and mental health, which is super important to me and I hope to help others in any way that I can. I am honored to be a part of an amazing, passionate team and am here to listen and support others on their mental health journey.

Jo

Peer Supporter

Kia ora! I am Jo and I am currently a fourth year student at the University of Otago completing my honours degree in Psychology. I’ve always had an interest in mental health, with my lived experiences driving me to give back to others, as I recognise how vital community support frameworks are in one’s journey towards wellbeing. I love to spend time with my friends and whānau and appreciate connecting with those around me. The team at Life Matters is a passionate group of people, and it's a privilege to be able work together towards a unified goal of suicide prevention.

Rifa

Peer Supporter

Hello! I’m Rifa and I’m from South Asia. I’m currently a fourth year student at University of Otago completing my graduate diploma in public health. I have a great interest in mental health and well-being, and how other aspects of health are affected by mental health. There is still stigma associated with mental health and getting help as well as the lack of cultural representation in mental health spaces. I hope that by volunteering at Life Matters, I can hold a space for both representation as well as help more people to be able to reach out.

Josiah

Peer Supporter

Hi, I’m Josiah. I'm a 4th year student with the Otago Medical School and am currently a part of a research project investigating a mental health treatment that works via helping people find meaning in their life rather than focusing on management of symptoms. I recently immigrated to New Zealand and volunteer at Life Matters in order to give back to the communities that have welcomed me with open arms.

Finn

Peer Supporter

Tēnā koe! Ko Finn tōku Ingoa. Originally from Christchurch, I’m studying Psychology and Māori studies here in Otago. I have a strong interest in improving mental health in Aotearoa and hope to help others in a future career. I also enjoy playing basketball and am always keen for a chat.

Ange

Peer Supporter

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am mother of 3 young people aged between 18-22 and have worked for a number of years with teenagers in education and wellbeing. I have been blessed with learning from my experiences, building my skills and qualifications in the area of mental health and wellbeing. Having the courage to live life wholeheartedly is something I continue to strive for and I am passionate about helping young people learning how to empower themselves and build their own self-efficacy skills.

Cat

Peer Supporter

Hey there! My name is Cat, I’m a postgraduate psychology student at Otago University. I’m originally from the UK but have lived in Dunedin for most of my life. Helping people and allowing them to feel heard is something that I’m super passionate about. Volunteering here at Life Matters allows me to do that whilst working alongside some amazing and inspiring people with endless opportunities to learn and give back to our community.

Bella

Peer Supporter

Kia ora, my name is Bella and I completed my degree in Psychology at the University of Otago. Life Matters appealed to me because we share the goals of reducing stigma around mental health and suicide and increasing support, and I wanted to meet some like-minded people. Everybody has a story to tell and as a Peer Supporter I am able to listen to so many diverse experiences. It is wonderful to be able to spread hope in the community and support the wellbeing of others.

Emily

Peer Supporter

Hey everyone! My name is Emily, and I am a peer supporter here at Life Matters. I am in my third year at the university studying Psychology and Education. I grew up in Invercargill so not too far from here. I have a huge passion for mental health and wellbeing. I want to dedicate my career to helping others in any way I can. When I’m not studying or volunteering, you’ll find me reading a good book or grabbing a coffee with friends. I am honored to be a part of this amazing team.

Olivia

Newsletter Designer

Hello, my name is Olivia King and I am a recent graduate of the University of Otago. Being a psychology student, I have a huge passion for helping others, doing good and speaking out about mental health. I've heard of too many people whose lives have been lost to suicide, and when I saw Life Matters were looking for volunteers to help with newsletter and content work I went for it. I started as a volunteer in July 2018 and now work casually helping create online newsletters, work on training modules and develop content to promote upcoming events. I am so proud to work for a team focused on reducing stigma, educating others and most importantly providing support to those affected by suicide and/or mental health difficulties. I am loving helping develop and build the Trust by working behind-the-scenes and have learnt so much already. Knowing I am working for people who are so driven to spread support, love and acceptance is the most rewarding part of this role and I am so grateful to be in this position.

Tasher

Ambassador of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust

Introducing Tasher. All muscles, no floof … and a fearless social warrior for supporting mental well-being and suicide prevention. As Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust's official mascot, Tasher is a regular at our Hope Centre, where she does her most precious mahi – providing comfort, cuddles and company to our guests, especially those who are distressed, and, sometimes, suicidal.