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Rhys Smith  |  Manager | Kaiwhakahaere

With a decade of frontline experience working alongside young people, throughout many different parts of the world; including previously living and working as a Youth Worker in Queenstown, living for many years in the USA & Canada and also travelling to countries such as Mexico, Hawaii, Indonesia and more.

Rhys has relocated to Cromwell from his birth place of Sydney, Australia and has been supporting the ongoing growth of Cromwell Youth Trust since early 2019.

Rhys’ mission is to ensure CYT is the cornerstone of youth services throughout New Zealand by providing a wide range of youth driven services that eliminate barriers for all tamariki and rangatahi too take part.

Rhys is a big ‘kid’ at heart and brings along a passion which he hopes translates to the CYT organisation and the Cromwell community to enable our local youth to be supported holistically and feel they have a strong network of positive youth development experiences.

Fran Dustin  |  Senior Youth Worker | Kaimahi taiohi pāhake

Fran was born in the Bay of Plenty but spent her youth living in various parts of the country, including Cromwell. Fran travelled the world and found a passion for working with children. Attending Dunedin College of Education and becoming a primary school teacher where she held teaching positions here in New Zealand but also in Tripoli, Libya and Government schools in Abu Dhabi.

During this time, she has traveled to over 50 countries and some highlights during those travels are; trekking with gorillas in Uganda, walking with lions in Zimbabwe, Muay Thai training camps in Thailand, 3 week yoga/ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka and meeting people from all over the world.

Over the years Fran has studied various modalities to help not only her own personal journey, but also to help others with theirs. Fran is a personal trainer, yoga therapist and mindfulness teacher as well as a reiki practitioner. She has used these skills to develop a wellness programme that has helped people take control of their mental, emotional and physical well-being and hopes to be able to share these skills with the youth of Cromwell.

After living overseas for 15 years she is excited to once again call Cromwell home and to be involved with the community. It is a very special place to grow up and she hopes to be a part of that experience for the youth of Cromwell.

Cody Randell  |  Youth Programme Coordinator | Kairuruku hōtaka rangatahi 

Joining our team from the North Island is Cody.

Cody has lived in many different countries including Australia, China, Canada and the United States.

Cody brings over 10 years of experience working with Youth in the Outdoors.

From leading multi-day expeditions along the Eastern Coast of Australia through to teaching Sailing in the South China Sea through to facilitating Team Building with youth groups in the middle of New York City.

He is excited to bring his passion for developing our programmes by creating really authentic and meaningful experiences.

In the summer you’ll find Sailing on the Lake or Snowboarding in the Mountains. Cody’s looking forward to getting outside and exploring our beautiful backyard here in Cromwell

Amy Hall-Jones |  Social Worker in Schools | Te Hunga Tauwhiro i te Kura  

Amy is part New Zealand European, part Vietnamese and grew up in Te Anau surrounded by the beautiful whenua of Fiordland. Amy explored this beautiful part of Aotearoa, New Zealand before moving to Ōtepoti, Dunedin to undertake study at the University of Otago.

Amy first graduated with her Bachelor of Science Majoring in Psychology and then went on to complete her Masters of Social and Community Work where she found her passion for helping others.

Amy has experience in working with people with disability and in child protection and she is excited to bring her knowledge and skills into working alongside tamariki and whānau in Tīrau, Cromwell to support them to reach their goals and full potential.

Michelle Tukana |  Youth Counsellor | Rangatahi Kaiwhakamahereora

Michelle was born in Dunedin, living there until age 14 and spending a lot of time in Central Otago on family holidays. At 14 Michelle moved to Nelson with her family but returned to Dunedin after high school to attend University and, after graduating, moved to Sydney, Australia and became a Police Officer.

After a knee injury Michelle left the police and travelled overseas basing herself in London and spending time in Europe, America and South Africa. Upon returning to New Zealand Michelle completed her Masters in Social Work and she has worked in the fields of youth justice, child care and protection, youth alcohol and drugs, sexual assault counselling, and child and adolescent mental health.

In 2010 Michelle married her husband Vuniani, who is Fijian, and they have 2 children TJ and Alma.

Michelle is excited to be living back in the Otago region with her family and is looking forward to bringing her knowledge and skills to CYT to work with the young people and help them to overcome struggles, build their resilience and skills and reach their full potential.

Allie  |  Youth ‘Dog’ Worker

Hi, my name is Allie and I am the one really in charge here at Cromwell Youth Trust. My dad, Rhys, thinks he is the boss but I am the one who knows everything about how to get the best from young people and adults as well. You will always find me at The Hangout everyday where I give the best cuddles and where I like to play games with all my cool friends who come by!

I love meeting new people and am really kind and gentle – so if you come by please come and say hello and give me a pat. Otherwise you will sometimes see me hanging outside enjoying the sun.