Our Board

Meet the CatWalk Board of Trustees
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David has worked for Jarden Ltd since November 2011, and before that Macquarie Private Wealth and BNZ Private Bank. He is an Authorised Financial Advisor (AFA), has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1999.

In 2010, his three children were involved in a car accident which has left his middle child, Holly, paralysed from the waist down due to the car’s seatbelt almost severing her in half. She was 6 at the time, and her 4-year old brother was killed instantly. Living with and caring for a paralysed child has opened David’s mind to the awfulness of the injury, and he has dedicated much of his time since in gaining a deeper understanding of spinal cord injury and the global search for a cure.

David was introduced to Catriona Williams in 2013, and a close friendship ensued. David joined the CatWalk Board in 2014, and was appointed Chairman in 2018. As of November 2019, David has completed the New York marathon five times on behalf of Team CatWalk, and he managed to round up 67 other runners to join him there over these past 5 years. The collective effort has raised over $825,000 to further the cause of spinal injury cure. David’s greatest desire is to see Holly walk again.

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In 1977 at the age of 15, Grant Sharman suffered a broken neck as the result of a rugby injury. He wanted to be a pilot in the airforce flying Hercules but his injury ended that dream. In 1980 Grant was introduced to painting using a brush in his mouth and after being accepted as a student artist in 1981, by 1988 Grant was made a ‘full member’ of the Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists.

Despite breaking his neck playing rugby, Grant took up wheelchair rugby and captained the national team, the Wheel Blacks, at two Paralympic Games – Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, and the 1998 World Championships in Toronto. Grant coached the Wheel Blacks to a Gold medal at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. He was High Perfomance Director for Paralympics NZ from 2006-2011 and was a presenter and Associate Producer with Attitude TV for a number of years.

Grant is the Chairperson of Parafed Auckland and a proud Trustee of the CatWalk Trust.

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Renowned neuroscientist Professor Martyn Goulding, Ph.D, joins CatWalk in his position at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the USA, where he is the Professor and Departmental Chair of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and the Frederick W. and Joanna J. Mitchell Endowed Chair.

With a distinguished career in unraveling the complexities of neural circuits in the spinal cord, Professor Goulding brings unparalleled expertise to this crucial intersection of science and advocacy. His groundbreaking work, marked by a keen understanding of the intricacies of the nervous system, has earned him international acclaim, including the prestigious Brain Prize in 2022 for his pioneering work. lundbeckfonden.com

As a board member, his commitment to advancing spinal cord injury research aligns seamlessly with the Trust’s mission to fund innovative projects that offer hope to those affected. His strategic vision and scientific acumen will be invaluable to the Trust as we head towards a future marked by transformative breakthroughs in spinal cord injury treatment and rehabilitation.

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Tara is currently Director of Engagement for the Royal Society Te Apārangi following on from her previous role as Head of Research for Cure Kids, investing in medical research with the potential to transform the health of children across Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

After studying both Arts and Science, Tara completed a Masters (Hons) in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and began her career in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and at the Health Research Council of NZ. Moving to London, Tara spent 3 years writing and editing for medical journals at the World Health Organization and The Lancet. She then joined GlaxoSmithKline as a Science Advisor on Pandemic Influenza, and spent the next 10 years focused on controlling infectious diseases across Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Tara brings a curious and creative approach, with a broad range of experience across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. She’s keen to apply her experience in biotechnology R&D to help the CatWalk Trust target its investments towards research which has the greatest potential to generate breakthroughs for people living with spinal cord injuries.

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After graduating from University of Auckland Medical School in 2005, Simon successfully completed the New Zealand Orthopaedics Association’s training program and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2014.

Along with his family, he then spent two years overseas sub-specialising in adult spinal pathologies; firstly at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne and then at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Canada.
Simon has a public appointment as an Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon at Counties Manakau DHB, where he has been working since returning to New Zealand in 2017.

Simon is part of the Northern Supra-regional Spinal Cord Service based at Middlemore Hospital, where the acute care for patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries from the Upper North Island are referred.

He is passionate about finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and is excited to be a part of The CatWalk Trust, linking ground-breaking research with clinical medicine.

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Kirsty has a nursing career that has spanned 30 yrs specialising in Orthopaedics, trauma and spinal injuries.

Her nursing background at the Burwood Spinal unit gives her an integral understanding of spinal injuries and the life changing effects it has on these people and their families.

Having this lived experience gives her the drive to ensure continued support for The CatWalk Trust

Kirsty has also worked in the NFP sector for a number of years helping to raise profiles, fundraising strategy and sponsorship.

Making a difference is her mantra.

Spinal Cord research is gaining momentum, adding value through this time of growth is something Kirsty wants to be a part of.

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Lee (Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto) is a dynamic force in community engagement and inclusivity. With a rich background in fostering diverse collaborations and advocating for accessibility, Lee brings a unique perspective to the intersection of community impact and medical research.

Lee is the CEO of Care Upfront, a dedicated homecare service provider to support those with complex or long-term care in the home. The needs of those requiring care are deeply understood by Lee who suffered a spinal cord injury at aged 13 when diving into a pool.

Lee’s appointment underscores the Trust’s dedication to a holistic approach in spinal cord injury research. With a proven track record in driving positive change, Lee’s passion for inclusivity aligns seamlessly with the Trust’s mission to improve the lives of individuals affected by spinal cord injuries.

Make a difference, today.

Spinal cord injury does not have to be a life sentence. A cure is within reach.
Your support helps to bring that cure closer.
Thank you.