Meet the Team
Jeremy Rees, Chairman
Jeremy Rees is a journalist and editor, and currently Executive Editor for Radio New Zealand, based in Auckland. He was editor of the Weekend Herald and Head of Digital Content for NZME, heading up then herald.co.nz and other web initiatives between 2006 and 2015. He was chair the industry's reporter training body and is a member of the Media Freedom Committee, the Media-Judicial liaison committee and other media bodies.
Jeremy came to Neuroendocrine Cancer NZ through wanting to use his media skills to help raise awareness about NETs. A self-described part-time, back of the bunch cyclist, he loves watching cricket, reading novels and has just completed a degree in Chinese studies at Auckland University.
Dr Ben Lawrence, Medical Advisor
Dr Ben Lawrence is a Medical Oncologist at Auckland Hospital and Head of Department of Oncology at the University of Auckland. In his hospital role, he is the Foundation Chair of the National NET Multi-Disciplinary Meeting where he works with a team of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, endocrinologists and pathologists to choose the best treatment strategy for each patient. Ben also leads work with the Ministry of Health focused on measuring the quality of NET care across New Zealand. In his University role, he co-leads a nationwide translational research project with a talented team who undertake genomic profiling of NETs using cutting-edge gene sequencing technologies.
Assoc. Professor Malcolm Legget, Board Member
Assoc. Professor Malcolm Legget is a highly regarded cardiologist, an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, Chair of the Translational Medicine Trust and a NET cancer patient. He was diagnosed in 2011 and quickly received treatment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne which thankfully has stabilised his disease. His determination and drive to help improve research and care for NET cancer patients is truly remarkable. He is totally committed to trying to improve access to state of the art diagnosis and treatment for New Zealanders with NETs.
Peter Clarke, Board Member
Peter joined Neuroendocrine Cancer New Zealand as a Trustee in 2021. He rode in the Tour of New Zealand as a member of Team Unicorn in 2017 and had been an enthusiastic participant at the “Craft Beer and Bites” fundraisers over the years. Peter’s background is in finance, and he has worked both in New Zealand and overseas in the banking industry since 1993. His primary role on the board of Neuroendocrine Cancer New Zealand is to chair the finance subcommittee. Peter is currently an executive director at AF Capital Partners, a Private Credit Fund based in Auckland. He also chairs the investment committee of the King’s College Foundation.
Dr Jane Reeve, Board Member
Jane is an Auckland trained diagnostic radiologist and heads the CT Colonography service at Auckland DHB and works at Mercy Radiology. Her areas of interest include Oncological Imaging, in particular PET CT and she is the lead radiologist who reviews patient cases for the NET multi-disciplinary team at Auckland Hospital. Some of those in our NET community will already be familiar with Dr Jane Reeve who has been a regular face at our education days and online Zoom sessions.
Louise Wright, Board Member
Louise is a media and public relations professional. Her extensive experience includes seven years at Porter Novelli - one of the largest PR agencies in New Zealand - first as executive director, then managing director. She has also worked as editor of several leading New Zealand magazines, and is renowned for her networks, connections and contacts. A mother of two, Louise is a NET survivor. We're excited to have Louise on the board to help us step up to be a bigger, even more effective charity.
Dr. Michelle Sullivan, Chief Executive
Michelle joined in 2020 as CEO and has lead the transition from Unicorn Foundation NZ to Neuroendocrine Cancer NZ. She brings a range of senior health and research sector experience ranging from clinical trials to research funding and biotech sector investment. She is an enthusiastic advocate for all NET cancer patients and their families. Michelle’s PhD in biochemistry earns her the title ‘Dr’ but definitely don’t call her if you need a doctor!
Avril Hull, NET Information and Support Manager
Avril became our Information and Support Manager in 2015 and confesses that one of the ways she has learnt so much about NETs was through listening to people – patients, their relatives and friends. “I always feel humbled when people share so openly their NET journey and I feel privileged to be in a position to meet people from around the country in this role.” Avril also works part time as a Nurse Specialist in Neuroendocrine Tumours at Auckland Hospital and part time as a Research Nurse with the NETwork! Project Team who are doing genomic research on NETs at the University of Auckland. “I love my work because it is challenging and I am always learning something new.”
OIivia Cochrane, NET Dietitian
Olivia is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian, born and bred in Tāmaki Makaurau. In 2018 Olivia wrote her Masters thesis on the nutritional concerns for patients with neuroendocrine tumours. Olivia is currently working in paediatrics, however maintains a strong interest in the area of NETs and oncology.
Olivia has presented at past NET education days and has hosted various online information sessions. She is excited to be a member of the NECNZ team to better support NET patients navigating the often confusing and conflicting world of nutrition.
Jess Page, Operations and Events Manager
Jess joined Neuroendocrine Cancer NZ in 2016, initially to lead the inaugural "Craft Beer and Bites" fundraiser and since then added annual patient and nurse education days and other fundraisers to the calendar. Jess' interest in NETs stems from her close friend's journey with NET cancer. She values the importance of community and loves her role supporting patients and their families. Jess runs her own event management company and combined with her experience as a teacher in her former profession, she brings strong communication, operational and management skills to her part-time role with NECNZ.
Supporting patients and whānau living with neuroendocrine cancers