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Meet The Staff

Our dedicated and passionate health professionals consist of a Nurse Manager, Office Administrator, Registered Nurses, Karitane Nurses, and volunteers.

Jo Coulter

Nurse Manager, Registered Nurse & Registered Midwife

I am Nurse Manager of the Waikato Family Centre. I am a proud mother and mother-in-law to four sons and their wives and partners and gran to four granddaughters.

I trained as a nurse in 1980 in Thames Hospital. My nursing background consists of working in the Emergency Department, the critical care pool, Oncology and Orthopedics at Waikato Hospital.

I trained as a midwife and worked as a Lead Maternity Carer for 12 years. I then took up a Charge Nurse/Midwife position in the Antenatal and Gynecology ward in Waikato Women's Hospital. After moving further down the line, I became a District Nurse in Tokoroa and worked in the Emergency Department.

I have been in this position for three years and have made many changes along the way and continue to grow our service to meet the needs of family/whanau of the community and the greater Waikato.

I'm extremely passionate about the service we provide and the support, guidance and education the team of nurses provides to the families/whanau of the community and the greater Waikato who are struggling with concerns they are having with their babies and under two-year-olds. 

Kate Allen

Registered Nurse

I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1995 from Manawatu Polytechnic.

After having my own children and realising how challenging this journey can be, I left working as a nurse in General Health to focus my nursing career on supporting babies and their families. 

Initially I worked as a Plunket Nurse but soon realized I had a passion for helping parents establish feeding and sleep routines and ultimately, enjoy their parenting experience.  This led me to working at Mothercraft at Waikato Hospital, where I worked for over 5 years. 

In 2020 I joined the team at Waikato Family Centre as a Registered Nurse and since then have developed an interest in helping support mums with PND (Post-natal Depression) and Anxiety.

I am thoroughly enjoying this role and look forward to meeting you and your little ones soon.

Abbey Weston

Registered Nurse

Kia Ora Koutou,

My name is Abby Weston and I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2000 after training at Waikato Polytechnic. Since graduating, I have worked in many different areas including Adults, Paediatrics and the Newborn Unit. I have worked in different parts of the world , from A&E in the Torres Straight Islands and the outback, to Paediatrics in Jersey, in the Channel Islands. 

I spent a long time working in the Newborn Unit in the United Kingdom, Australia, and most recently at Waikato Hospital for 10 years when my English partner and I came to Hamilton with our then one-year-old. 

After working in the hospital system for a long time, I wanted some more community experienceand continuity of care. I was employed by Plunket, caring for pēpi and whānau in Ngāruawāhia for two years, then transitioned to the Family Centre.

I love working with whānau and babies, supporting caregivers to work through concerns and spending time throughout the day to guide, support and educate. I particularly enjoy educating parents who are progressing their baby onto solids. I am a strong advocate for parents who need help accessing care from other health professionals. I have a passion for reducing inequity in this country and hope to contribute to this through my nursing and community work. 

Robyn Harrison

Enrolled Nurse

I trained in Thames in 1982 and have worked in a variety of different areas over my 40 years of nursing, mainly with Waikato DHB.

I have wanted to work in the community for a while and feel very lucky to be working with mums and babies at the Waikato Family Centre.

I am a wife, mother of three and grandmother to many grandies.

Being a parent is so rewarding but can also be so hard. We are here to help make the journey as stress free as possible when times get difficult with your baby.

Adele Gower

Registered Nurse

I graduated from Wintec's Nursing programme at the end of 2005. 

Most of my nursing experience comes from working at a medical centre. It was here and through the experience of having my three boys, that I realised I wanted to work more closely with mothers/families and babies. The first year of a baby's life can be full of joy but it can also present many challenges such as sleeping issues, which I personally struggled a lot with during my eldest son's first six months. 

Working at Waikato Family Centre allows me to support mums through similar challenges and I'm able to give them strategies to manage during these times. knowing mums can leave the centre  with parenting skills which help them at home and in turn allow them to enjoy their babies more is really rewarding.

When I'm not at work I can usually be found helping out on the farm with my husband and kids.

Vicki Phillips

Karitane Nurse (Casual)

Hi! I have been a Karitane Nurse at the Waikato Family Centre for the last 19 years. My journey with the centre began when I had my first baby. What a shock... talk about being thrown in the deep end. All he did was cry and he NEVER slept! As luck would have it, we ended up at the Family Centre. This ignited a passion in me to support other mums and their babies who were struggling with the parenting journey. After working with Plunket for a few years I began my time at the Family Centre and haven't left since. 

I believe parenting is one of the hardest jobs we will ever have, but with a bit of help and support it can be one of the most rewarding.

Jenni Bird

Registered Nurse (Casual)

Watch this space as Jenni is currently writing it :)

Jo Wall

Mental Health Clinician

Kia ora koutou,

I am a mental health clinician/registered occupational therapist and ACT therapist who provides support for the mental wellbeing of whanau at the Waikato Family Centre.  I have worked in a variety of mental health and physical health settings since graduating as an OT in 1995.  

My passion is for sharing practical skills for managing distress, adjusting to parenting, and becoming the kind of parent you'd like to be.  Whether you've struggled with your mental wellbeing before pregnancy or not, expecting a baby and managing those first months together is often a time of stress and distress - for all caregivers of the baby.  Experiences such as fertility difficulties, health concerns or experiencing a traumatic birth can add further distress.  

I can offer sessions in person or online - babies under a year old are welcome to join you. Please talk to the nursing staff at Waikato Family Center if you think you could benefit from these sessions.  


Our Board of Trustees

Rosemary Poole


Thach Tran


Aimee Crosby


Laura Monahan


Tamsyn Hague

Finance KPMG

Jo Coulter

Nurse Manager

Emily Dillistone

Minute Secretary

We would like to thank the following funders for the valuable contributions they have made to the on-going operation of the Waikato Family Centre.


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