The Grief Centre | Loss and Grief Support The Grief Centre

 The Grief Centre office is closed from 12pm Friday 22 December, reopening Monday 08 Jan. 

New Zealand Phone: 0800 331 333

Office team

Katrina King

General Manager

Katrina joined the Grief Centre as General Manager in early 2023 and brings strong leadership and governance experience with a background in marketing and communications. She has worked for several large corporates in the telecommunications field, and most recently has been self-employed running her own strategy and communications advisory. In the not-for-profit space she has served as Board Chair for Highbury Community House and is currently a member of the Dress for Success Auckland board and is Board Chair at Northcote Intermediate. She holds a Master of Commerce in Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

It is particularly important to Katrina to be part of an organisation that is making a significant difference in our society, and she is delighted to bring her combination of business and community experience and expertise to the Grief Centre. In her spare time, Katrina enjoys spending time with her husband and three teenage children, singing with her 80s covers band, running outdoors, reading, and catching up over a glass of wine with friends.

Brian Nicholas

Finance and Administration Manager

Brian has worked in New Zeland's non-profit sector for more than 15 years and has an extensive financial and administrative background. His passion is listening – he believes that everyone has a story, that all people have a voice, and everyone deserves to be heard.

Brian classifies himself as ‘old school’, mainly because he is of the generation that were taught to keep quiet when they were hurting and never to show emotion. He knows, from personal experience, that this is neither healthy nor sustainable, and that everybody will need someone to talk to at some time in their lives. He is grateful that wonderful organisations like the Grief Centre exist, grateful to be part of it and that he is contributing and helping people albeit in a small way.

Brian believes that humour and compassion are vital to maintaining a life balance. You will find Brian either, swimming, kayaking, on a squash or tennis court, with his head in a book, kicking or throwing a ball with the children and now grandchild, going for long walks or just simply wading in the shallows and using the quiet time to think.

Michelle Oxenham

Clinical Coordinator and Office Administrator

Michelle is our frontline employee. She has an extensive corporate background and is also a trained counsellor. She has the skills to engage with clients from all backgrounds and to gently and collaboratively assist them to begin their healing journey.

Having finally won her own life-long battle with depression, she remembers all too well the many people who assisted her out of the darkness. These days, it is an honour for her to assist those who are currently engaged in their own journey, as they struggle to cope with and emerge from, depression. From her own personal experiences, she knows that many suffer in silence.

Michelle is an active volunteer in her community. She is also passionate about photography and her large garden. She and her partner Matt love their staffie Barney, and greatly enjoy the beauty and adventure outdoors New Zealand has to offer. Good times with friends and family are very important to her.

Jemma Hoyle

Bereavement Support Coordinator
and Funding Manager

Our Grants Manager Jemma collaborates closely with the team to secure grant funding and ensure it is used effectively for our New Zealand communities. Most of the grant funding brought in goes towards providing free and heavily subsidised loss and grief support and education. Jemma has found working with the Grief Centre both humbling and rewarding, opening her eyes to a type of support she never knew existed.

Jemma is grateful every working day for the positive impacts she is helping the Grief Centre to create and is passionate about supporting the charity to grow.

In her spare time you will find her playing with her young family, furry and not, on a little farm in North Auckland.

Cathy Williams

Education and Events Coordinator

Cathy Williams joined the Grief Centre team as a part-time administrator in September 2023. Cathy is a qualified nutritionist and naturopath with a special interest in brain health and human behaviour. She has run her own consulting practice alongside admin and practice manager roles in both New Zealand and the UK.

London is Cathy’s second home – she went travelling to Europe with a friend and ended up living there for 11 years. Her Kiwi partner also joined her, and in 2022, their daughter was born in London. They returned home in 2023 to be closer to extended family (and free babysitters!).

Cathy is passionate about contributing to the improvement of people’s health and wellbeing, whether it is consulting directly on nutrition, or helping health and wellness organisations to thrive and grow. She enjoys music, going to gigs, travel, reading and good coffee!

Averill Waters

Clinical Lead

Averill has held positions in a range of organisations, including schools, universities, and a variety of community organisations. She has been Chair of Highbury House, National Executive Member of Playcentre and was until recently the secretary of the Auckland Branch of New Zealand Association of Counsellors. Averill has presented at a range of conferences and has published several papers on counselling practice and cross-cultural perspectives. She places a high value on respect, compassion, and social justice - values that underpin her work. She says:

“The kato (woven bag) represents my hope for our conversations – that they will weave together to shape something that is useful and productive, creating a stronger story of your preferred identity. The strands that form the bag, represent contributions that each of us brings to the conversation helping to enhance our partnership and practice.”

Maja Perlic

Bereavement Support Coordinator for Australia

Maja joined the Grief Centre in 2020 when the organisation expanded their services to Australia. She was the first employee of the Australian branch and was instrumental in implementing our services there.

Maja has over 15 years of experience in finance and administration. She brings compassion and care to everything she does at work and in life, and people often say they can rely on her for just about anything. The work at Grief Centre is very important to her as she enjoys doing things that will help someone or potentially change someone's life, even in a small way.

Maja enjoys spending time with her family, reading, swimming, attending her kids' soccer matches and catching up with her friends over a glass of wine.

Paul Canavan

Grief Care Relationship Manager - Australia

Paul joined the Grief Centre in February 2024. He was previously the Business Manager at Burstow’s in Toowoomba and, prior to joining in the funeral industry, had a long career in finance and banking. In his role at Burstow’s, Paul worked closely with the Grief Centre team for over four years and saw first-hand how client families benefited from the Bereavement Support Service. He is a passionate advocate of after-funeral grief care and believes it has many benefits for both funeral homes and the bereaved families they support.


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