Meet the board

The KidsCan team is made up of passionate and talented people who believe in making a difference to the lives of New Zealand children. We have a team of office staff, board members, health champions and volunteers who all make our work possible. 

Bill Bernie, Trustee KidsCan

Bill Birnie - Trustee

Based in Auckland, Bill Birnie is the Chairman and Managing Director of private equity firm, Birnie Capital Limited.  Bill holds a Bachelor of Laws and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.  In addition to being a Director of all the Birnie Capital investment companies, Bill is a Trustee of the James Wallace Arts Trust, Deputy Chairman of Sport New Zealand and a Director of High Performance Sport New Zealand.  He is the former Deputy Chairman of the New Zealand Film Commission, past Chairman and Director of New Zealand’s largest fruit exporter, ENZA and formerly held the positions of Director of the Screen Council of New Zealand, Director of New Zealand Equestrian Sports and Commissioner of the Hillary Commission.  Bill was also a Founding Trustee of the Wellington Stadium Trust and was Deputy Chairman of the then government owned Post Office Bank, prior to its sale to the ANZ Banking Group.



Julie Champman (nee Helson) CEO and Trustee, KidsCan

Julie Chapman (nee Helson) - CEO & Trustee

Julie is the dedicated CEO and founder behind KidsCan. Her passion, tenacity and dedication has transformed the charity from a project she founded in her garage in 2005 into a respected New Zealand charity renowned for alleviating child poverty across the country by tackling the issue of Kiwi kids going without the basics. Julie and the KidsCan team work tirelessly to not only create a brighter future for the 180,000 KidsCan kids who attend 742 KidsCan partner schools, but to be a voice for all Kiwi kids in need. Julie is driven by a belief that education equals opportunity and every Kiwi kids deserves to realise their dreams.

Julie is responsible for the direction and coordination of all the trust’s day-to-day activities plus programme development, key partnerships, government and public relations for the trust. Her ability to lead, to inspire and unite business, communities and government, along with her compassion has seen Julie recognised as a Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust in 2008 and named Next Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year. Julie was also named as a finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year in 2015.



Nigel Hampton QC, Trustee KidsCan

Nigel Hampton QC - Trustee

Nigel graduated LL.B in 1964 from Canterbury University being awarded the Gold Medal for top graduate for the year, and was admitted to the bar in 1965. Since then he has been appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989 and served as President of the Canterbury Law Society; and Vice-President of the NZ Law Society. Nigel was the Chair of the NZ Lawyers’ Disciplinary Tribunal; the first Disciplinary Commissioner for International Criminal Court based in The Hague, Netherlands; and was the Chief Justice of Tonga, 1995-97. He serves as a Judicial Officer for NZ Rugby Union, SANZAR and International Rugby Board. Nigel was awarded the OBE (1988) and CM (1990).




Glenda Hughes, Trustee KidsCan

Glenda Hughes - Trustee

 A former sportswoman, Glenda is a National Championship shot put record holder, a Commonwealth Games Representative and holder of four New Zealand power lifting records. She has worked with the NZ Olympic Games Committee and is still involved in sport today as advisor to many of our top athletes, in media relations and other management support programmes. Glenda's spent 18 years in the New Zealand Police force, in a variety of roles including the riot squad during the 1981 Springbok Tour, and has a BA with a double major in Sociology and Criminology. Glenda has an incredible ability to deal with people at all levels and to understand what motivates them, and how people function and communicate. She is a guest lecturer in marketing, communication and managing change at several universities.




Nigel Hampton QC, Trustee KidsCan

Mark Dunwoodie - Trustee

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of corporate, commercial and professional services experience. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce.

Mark has delivered in senior executive positions both in NZ and the UK. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Directors.





Guy Waipara, Trustee KidsCan

Guy Waipara (Rongowhakaata) - Trustee

Guy is General Manager of Generation and Natural Resources for Meridian Energy, responsible for renewable asset management and operations in New Zealand and Australia. Guy has over 25 years’ experience in the electricity sector, and has held a number of important roles at Meridian, from offshore business development to setting company strategy and external relations.

Guy really got behind KidsCan when Meridian Energy became principal partner in 2013. During that time Guy has seen the difference KidsCan’s work has made to children all over New Zealand. He has led a number of Meridian projects to enhance the KidsCan partnership, from fundraising drives to a surf camp for KidsCan children.