Our Team

Our friendly and professional management team is based at our office in Northern Wairarapa. We are supported by our Programme Directors and team of expert advisors and facilitators based throughout New Zealand.

AWDT graduates feature strongly in our teams. Not only do they bring their own expertise, but having completed one or more of our programmes, they understand, first-hand, the power of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded women to provide a rich learning experience.

Meet our management team

We’re here to help – read about each of our roles here. Because we all help each other out in our busy office, when you phone us (06 377 4560) any one of us may answer the phone.

  • Lindy Nelson MNZN
  • Lucy McKenzie
  • Anna Medlyn
  • Hannah Moore
  • Lisa Sims
  • Rachel Smith
  • Sandra Matthews
  • Jo Priddle
  • Lindy’s passion and drive to develop and support women in primary industries has seen AWDT and its graduates grow and flourish since 2010. 

    As Executive Director, Lindy leads our team with a wealth of knowledge and experience amassed through her personal experience, research and the development of AWDT, its programmes and people. 

    Creating linkages between organisations and using resources, contacts and networks for sector and individual benefit is paramount to everything Lindy does.

    Lindy’s extensive and ongoing research underpins her ground-breaking work to empower and support women in primary industries to reach their potential. 

    She has been farming with her husband for more than 25 years, having moved to the farm from a city background when she faced the challenges that many rural women face today.  lindy@awdt.org.nz

  • Lucy’s focus at AWDT is the management of communications and stakeholder relationships, working across AWDT’s multiple audiences and platforms.

    Lucy has made her way to Alfedton HQ via roles in management, corporate communications and marketing here in New Zealand and Europe.

    Having recently moved to the Wairarapa with her family, Lucy is happy to be part of the values driven organisation that AWDT is, and to acclimatise her previous experience into Primary Sector NZ. 

  • Anna Medlyn - UYFB, Wahine Maia, Wahine Whenua Coordinator

    Anna coordinates our growing Understanding Your Farming Business and Wāhine Māia Wāhine Whenua programmes.  

    She is your first point of contact for enquires about both programmes and coordinates our large team of expert facilitators around New Zealand, along with programme logistics and communication.

    Anna’s move to New Zealand from a sheep farm in Australia to join her farmer partner coincided perfectly with our need to grow our team to meet high demand for UYFB. With a media and communications degree, and experience working in Australia and Germany, Anna relishes the chance to create fantastic customer experiences.  

  • Hannah Moore - Business Support

    With a Bachelor of Visual Art and Design, Hannah loves to communicate through great design and presentation. She is also our 'go-to' expert for IT challenges and is a super-efficient organiser and administrator

    Originally from Hawkes Bay, Hannah joined the AWDT team in 2016 when she moved to Northern Wairarapa to join her partner who manages a local sheep and beef farm. 
    Hannah works at our office from Mondays to Thursdays. 

  • Lisa Sims - Communications

    Working with AWDT since it was founded in 2010, Lisa leads our communications and marketing, working closely with all members of our team.

    With a 26-year career in strategic communications spanning international relations to grass-roots and regional governance, Lisa is also a member of our Escalator Alumni and a sheep and beef farmer. 

    Lisa’s experience and skills centre on strategy, communication, leadership, collaboration and community development - in the public and private sectors, across many industries.  She provides consultancy services for several organisations and develops positive, longstanding relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.  

  • Rachel Smith - Special Projects


  • Sandra Matthews - Regional Groups Coordinator

    A hands-on sheep and beef farmer from Rere, near Gisborne, Sandra coordinates the Regional Groups formed by AWDT graduates around New Zealand. She is also a Facilitator and Coach.

    Sandra is passionate about enabling isolated farming women to feel connected and supported within their communities, and also within the wider NZ rural community.

    Having completed AWDT’s UYFB and First Steps programmes, Sandra is Chairperson & Co-founder of Farming Women Tairawhiti, an educational and supportive group for rural women in the wider Gisborne area.

    Originally from a country town in New South Wales, Sandra manages the financial and administration side of her farming business and has a Diploma in Farm Business Management.

  • An experienced general and project manager, and a critical partner in an olive grove, olive contracting business and olive marketing company, Jo Priddle is integral to managing change as we grow and mature as an organisation.

    Working with the team, Jo is driving operational effectiveness and efficiency so that we can maximise our impact in the primary sector.

    Originally from Tasmania but with her heart and home in New Zealand, Jo is an AWDT Escalator Alumni member and a Massey University Alumni member, holding a BA in Sociology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Sector Evaluation Research.

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