Our staff

Elisha Olds. Operations Manager
Elisha Olds. Operations Manager

Elisha has been in this role since 2014 having started her time with Tauranga RDA three years earlier as volunteer coordinator. Elisha lives in rural Te Puke with her husband, Daniel and their sons, Cody and Leighton along with numerous horses, dogs and other animals. She has been riding for many years. She enjoys bringing on green horses and has had success re-training and re-homing thoroughbreds from the racing industry.

Elisha is an Equine Craniosacral Therapist and has a Bachelor degree in Tourism Management. She has considerable administration management experience and with her husband Daniel runs the family business, Papamoa Panel and Paint. Her other interests include squash, kick boxing and mountain biking.

Contact Elisha by email at manager@taurangarda.co.nz or on 07 544 1899

Kaasandra Chee. Fundraising & Marketing Manager
Kaasandra Chee. Fundraising & Marketing Manager

Kaasandra Chee comes to the Tauranga RDA with a PhD in biomedical science and Project Management skills. She has worked as a research scientist and research manager at two NZ universities. She has also worked in the field of science communication in the UK. In the UK, she worked as a Project Manager in a Science and Arts charity to develop and advance a science communication programme throughout Europe alongside the British Council.

Kaasandra grew up in Tauranga and returned here four years ago with her husband and son. She currently rides and competes her horse in Eventing, Show jumping and Dressage.

Kaasandra has had previous experience working at the Tauranga Riding for the Disabled revamping and running the Own Your Own Pony Programme for the past three years.

Kaasandra says she is thrilled to be part of the dedicated and enthusiastic Tauranga RDA team. As the Fundraising and Marketing Manager she looks forward to helping an organization which she is not only passionate about but which is part of so many peoples lives within the wider Bay of Plenty community.

Sharon Aldersley. Coach Therapist
Sharon Aldersley. Coach Therapist

Sharon is a physiotherapist and has worked in her current role at Tauranga RDA since 2008. Prior to that she volunteered with us and as a teenager volunteered with RDA in Gisborne. Sharon loves her work and is committed to helping our riders with disabilities achieve their goals.

It was Sharon’s work with RDA as a young woman that motivated her to train as a physiotherapist.  She enjoys riding herself and loves horses. Sharon has extensive experience working with people challenged by disability both within NZ and overseas.

She is married to Tony and has four children, Anna, Luke, Sophie and Nathan. The family home is at The Lakes. Sharon has always been very involved with her children’s schools and has a great commitment to her community. She also works part-time at Grace Hospital with people recovering from orthopedic surgery.

Claudia Cameron. Coach & Horse Manager
Claudia Cameron. Coach & Horse Manager

Claudia has been working as a coach with Tauranga RDA since 2014. She moved to NZ from England in 2010 and lives in Tauranga with her partner Mark and her dog Peta.

Claudia came from a very horse-focused family and started riding at the age of three when her older brother began riding lessons because she refused to be left out sitting on the sideline.

Claudia has instructed at Pony Club since she was 16 first in the UK and then NZ. Before staring at RDA she worked as a track rider and stable hand at a Te Puke racing yard.

She loves teaching children and helping them to improve and gain confidence and has played a major role in developing our junior volunteer program. She has been instrumental in expanding and developing our Life Skills therapy programs which are designed to assist those at-risk within our community as well as working with our riders who move into our Sport and Rec programs from our equestrian therapy program.

Angela O'Donnell. Volunteer Coordinator & Monday Coach
Angela O'Donnell. Volunteer Coordinator & Monday Coach

Angela joined RDA as Volunteer Coordinator having been a volunteer with the organisation. She has a strong background in administration and has worked as a trainer in a number of different business areas. Angela is married to Steve and assists him in the Guitar School he operates in Tauranga.

Angela has a great love for horses and grew up in Tauranga where as a young girl she used to spend her weekends and school holidays riding her grand-father’s horses on Papamoa Beach. She now has her own horse, Tigger who she rides on the local beaches and competes with in low level competition.

Angela is committed to supporting our volunteer force and ensuring that the gifts of their skills and valuable time are used effectively to assist our riders achieving their goals.

Angela has recently become the RDA Coach for the Monday Sessions and is studying to achieve her NZRDA coaching certificate

For information regarding volunteering please contact Angela by email at info@taurangarda.co.nz or telephone 07 544 1899

Terryn Collins. Stable Hand
Terryn Collins. Stable Hand

Terryn joined Tauranga RDA in 2015 as Stable Hand. She came with a wealth of horse experience and assists Claudia with the management of our team of therapy horses and ponies. She has seven horses of her own and lives at Gate Pa with her three daughters, Sitevah, Sahara and Dakota.

 

Amanda Lyons. Accounts Administrator
Amanda Lyons. Accounts Administrator

Amanda joined Tauranga RDA as Accounts Administrator in 2012. She began her working life as a Veterinary Nurse but after 15 years in that role she extended her skills and assumed the accounting management position in a busy mixed veterinary practice in Tauranga. She left the veterinary world in 2009 and began working for a local pollen producing company and in 2012 extended her working commitments and began working for Tauranga RDA.

Amanda lives with her husband, Aaron and her two children, Jacob and Isabella on a rural property in Omanawa. She has a number of horses and dogs – and spends much of her time helping her daughter in her very successful equestrian endeavors. 

Trish Green. Caretaker
Trish Green. Caretaker

Trish has been a long time volunteer for Tauranga RDA and lives on site as the caretaker.

Trish provides after hours, on-site security, watches out for the horses, manages hire of indoor and outdoor areas and generally helps keep our facilities ship shape.

Sandy. PA to the Operations Manager
Sandy. PA to the Operations Manager

Sandy has a regular spot in the manager’s office from where she surveys the property from her second story window. Sandy is a sweet heart and her relationship with cats has changed dramatically with the bossy attitude of the RDA cat, Possum

Zion. Stable Hand Assistant
Zion. Stable Hand Assistant

Zion is part Husky and is proving to be a truly awesome therapy dog and loves talking to people in wheelchairs

Possum. Rodent Controller
Possum. Rodent Controller

Possum joined the team in 2016 and though a tiny girl she has shown not only skills in the rodent control area but has proved to be an exceptional ‘mistress of discipline’ when it comes to the management of the dogs who accompany their humans to RDA. Possum is sponsored by Orijen a luxury brand of pet foods.

Peta. Office Entertainer
Peta. Office Entertainer

Would like to be out and about counting the Pukekos but for the meantime she has joined the meet and greet team in the office.

Come along for the ride! Give us a call on
07 544 1899

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