Our Patron


Neil Callaghan

Neil was invited to be a founding trustee of the Perry Foundation by Brian and Peggy Perry. He held this position for 30 years and retired from it in 2007. Later that year he became a trustee of POET.

Our Board

Marlene Julian

Marlene is a qualified secondary teacher who resigned to raise four children. Is strong in governance from her experience as a trustee on a number of boards.

Vicky McLennan

After a long career in education, most recently as Principal of Waikato Diocesan School, Vicky is a passionate supporter of young people and committed to the transformational benefits of outdoor education experiences.
She is currently Deputy Chair of Trust Waikato and brings governance skills and experience to her role on the POET board

Dr Mike Brown PhD

Mike  is currently the General Manager for Coastguard Boating Education. He has held academic positions at several universities and has published numerous articles, including three books on outdoor learning.

Emma  Burke

Emma currently leads internal audit for Fletcher Building after 11 years in Risk Assurance at PwC and has strong risk and controls experience. Emma has a passion for the outdoors and is keen to see young people have their own outdoor experiences. 

Craig Blackmore

Craig is the current CFO of the Perry Group. Craig’s extensive financial management experience is highly regarded and Perry Outdoor Education Trust is very fortunate to benefit from this.

Rob Hamill

Rob is passionate about environmental and healthy community initiatives.  Following his Olympic and trans-Atlantic Ocean rowing challenges, Rob developed a career in motivational speaking. He is keen to see young people connect to our natural world. Rob lives in Te Pahu where he and his wife Rachel raise chickens, sheep, bees and three energetic boys.

Our Staff


Karen Singers

Karen has more than 18 years experience in the for purpose.  She is committed to supporting programmes that reduce barriers and enable our young people  to make the most of their opportunities.

Gemma Periam

Programme Coordinator
Gemma has 31 years experience, teaching students from Y7-13 and providing professional development for adults in outdoor education practice. Enjoys sharing outdoor experiences with teenagers and mountain biking as recreation.


Donald Matheson

Programme Coordinator
Donald joined POET in 2014, having previously worked in a variety of roles in outdoor education – from specialist instructor to trainer to tutor.

Rene Eales

Bike maintenance 
Rene works with us on a casual basis – maintaining our fleet of mountain bikes.

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.


If you are interested in learning more, working with us or for any other matter, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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