New Zealand Phone: 09 418 1457 | Australia Phone: 1300 270 479

Meet Our People

Our wonderful people from various backgrounds and from all over New Zealand and Australia. They really are the heart that keeps The Grief Centre beating.

Meet our Board of Trustees, our Patrons and Our Staff.  We also have volunteers that provide continuing support to our organisation.  Some have been with us a short time and others have volunteered faithfully for many years! 

Our Trustees

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Maureen Frayling

Founder Trustee, Project Manager and Secretary

Maureen worked at the North Shore Hospice as a nurse, counsellor and teacher in the area of loss and grief for 15 years. She was involved for many years with the National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG). She initiated the development of the Grief Centre with support from North Shore Hospice and Dils Funeral Company. Maureen moved north to Whangarei in 2009. She is currently a lecturer and co-ordinator on the counselling major at North Tec in Whangarei.

Stephen Dil

Founder, Trustee and Chair

Stephen is Managing Director of Dil's Funeral Services. Through his daily work he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing those affected by loss and grief. Stephen holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from The Pennsylvania State University, a Bachelor of Business Studies (Management) from Massey University and the National Diploma in Funeral Services.

Photo of man with short brown hair in front of brick wall
Photo of woman with mid length wavy hair in front of brick wall

Dr. Margaret Agee


Margaret is an experienced counsellor, supervisor and counsellor educator who is a Life Member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors and is now supervising, consulting and guest lecturing in private practice. She is passionate about the need for public and professional education about contemporary understandings of loss and grief, and for the provision of effective support for those experiencing grief in all its forms. Her involvement in the field includes establishing the first support group in Auckland for those bereaved by suicide, and research into counsellors’ experiences of client suicide; education in the provision of support following crises in schools; and fostering effective cross-cultural support in loss and grief.

For 20 years she was actively involved in the National Association for Loss and Grief and she is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG). She is a founding member of the Board of the Grief Centre.

Sumita Paul


Sumita brings a high level of experience and professionalism in managing family trusts, charitable trusts and investment portfolios through her 23 year career in the fiduciary and investment industry. In her role as Client Manager at Perpetual Guardian for over 12 years, she was responsible for advising clients on drafting wills, enduring power of attorney and setting up trusts. Administering a will as an executor and dealing with individuals & families coping with the loss of loved ones, was a core activity of the role. During that time she realised the importance of having the skills to deal with people who were grieving and the experience also highlighted the additional support people needed at this time.

In 2021, Sumita founded Athena Wealth NZ, an independent financial planning practice. She is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF).

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Photo of woman with mid length wavy blond hair in front of brick wall

Monica Briggs


Monica has held leadership roles in the health and not for profit sector for the last 25 years in Aotearoa, having moved here from the UK. She has previously served on the board of the National AIDs Foundation and the Public health Association. She is currently CEO for the Child Cancer Foundation, having held Head of Centre role for the Centre of Social Impact prior to that and CEO of the YWCA Auckland. She is drawn to causes which support and empower individuals and communities. She is also a member of AUT Business schools Industry Advisory Board.

Our Patrons

Judy Bailey - Patron
Judy Bailey


Judy Bailey is a writer and broadcaster living in Auckland. A broadcaster for nearly four decades, Bailey’s television career began with the NZBC in Christchurch in 1971. Judy has long been an advocate for children. She has an enduring partnership with both World Vision, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Friends of Womens Refuge and most recently with Skylight. She is the patron of North Shore Hospice, and of Seasons, a grief programme for children. Judy is also the deputy chair, trustee and presenter for the Brainwave Trust, an organization that brings the latest research in neuroscience, particularly as it applies to the years from conception to three, to those who work with children and young families. 

Dr Robert A. Neimeyer - Patron
Dr Robert A. Neimeyer


Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D. is a professor in the Psychotherapy Research Area of the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has conducted extensive research on the topics of death, grief, loss, and suicide intervention.Neimeyer has published 21 books, including Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss, Constructivist Psychotherapy, and Rainbow in the Stone, a book of contemporary poetry. The author of over 300 articles and book chapters, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process, both in his published work and through his frequent professional workshops.

Our Staff

Our people are what makes us special.

Grief Centre Support Services

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