DAHL Board

Theresa Cooper

Chairperson

Theresa joined DAHL in November 2021 and is the Chairperson for the Board. Theresa is a well-known advocate for accessibility for Deaf in the arts sector.  She grew up in Wellington, is Deaf and fluent in NZSL, and is active in the Deaf Community.  Theresa freelances as a NZSL consultant assisting a variety of organisations, recently Te Papa, to develop a mobile guide in NZSL.  Over the past 20 years she has worked in cultural heritage advisory roles in central and local NZ government and even had a stint with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  

Gail Stevens

Gail Stevens joined the Deaf Aotearoa Holdings Ltd board in 2017. Gail is a Client Manager with Perpetual Guardian, one of the statutory Trustee Companies in New Zealand with an unrivalled presence in the charitable sector. Gail has several years’ experience in the trustee industry, both as a professional trustee and also from serving on two school boards. She is a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and holds a Diploma in Trusts and Estates in New Zealand.

Kevin O’Neill

Kevin grew up in Wellington with three deaf sisters. His father was heavily involved in promoting deaf education and Kevin is proud to continue his family’s involvement in the Deaf community. He has worked in the not-for-profit sector in his role as a Chartered Accountant, with a focus on health. Kevin is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Scots College  and has also worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Ministry of Health and as Chief Financial Officer for Access Home Health.

Kevin brings his business acumen and knowledge of government systems to DAHL. He hopes these skills will support the growth of the services Deaf Aotearoa provides, while maintaining the organisation’s values and reputation for outstanding, innovative services.

Michael Allen

Michael has worked in communications and marketing for more than 17 years, across a variety of local and international brands including Foodstuffs North Island, Air New Zealand, The University of Auckland Business School, Fonterra and Coca-Cola. He brings these years of experience in business communications and engagement to the Deaf Aotearoa Holdings Limited Board, which he joined in 2020. Michael was born profoundly deaf, and today has cochlear implants and is married to an audiologist with two children.

Lachlan Keating

Chief Executive

Lachlan has worked in the disability sector for more than 20 years, firstly in Australia for Wesley Mission Brisbane, and since early 2006 at Deaf Aotearoa. Initially working in Christchurch as an employment consultant, Lachlan progressed to the roles of South Island Regional Manager and then General Manager – Community Development, before being appointed as Chief Executive in 2012.

Lachlan attended the prestigious Harvard Business School in 2015 and has been a strong advocate for Deaf Aotearoa staff gaining additional qualifications. Leadership development has been a key focus during Lachlan’s tenure, with eight Deaf people appointed to leadership roles in the past 10 years. Lachlan has led a programme of organisational transformation and restructured the organisation in 2015 to ensure an increased level of quality, professionalism, accountability and performance at all levels.

Joanne Klaver – President

Craigo Findsen – Executive Board Member

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