ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust is governed by a board of Trustees. They meet several times each year to advise and give direction to the Ministry.

David Senior, Chairperson

Chairperson: David Senior

David is the Chairman of the Trust and is blind. Along with his wife Phillipa, he has had a long association with the Trust right from very early days. He was involved in the National CFFD board before moving to Kaitaia. David and Phillipa have now moved to Kerikeri to be closer to their grandchildren.

Photo of Alan Pace, Secretary

Alan Pace

Alan was first involved with the ministry back in 1992 where he met his wife Kathie. They have three children. He has an analytical background and has worked for a variety of large companies.

Photo of Di Willis, Ministries Director

Di Willis

Di was one of the Co-founders of the ministry along with her husband Hugh and close friend Margie Willers. She continues to volunteer on staff and is very involved in the Drop-in Centre in Auckland. Di continues to speak at churches on behalf of Elevate and is on the Elevate National Camp committee. Her training as an Occupational Therapist has given her valuable insight in her development of teaching resources and information booklets used for training and educating others about people with disabilities.

Photo of John Hawkins

John Hawkins

John works at Victoria University in Wellington as the Mechanical Technician in charge of the Engineering Workshop for the School of Architecture and Design. He and his wife Lyn have been involved with the Wellington Branch of CFFD since its inception in 1982, now as Chairperson and Secretary respectively. John was invited to be a member of the Elevate Christian Disability Trust Board in 2012 and is also on the Avalon Assembly of God Church Board. He has a daughter and a son, and three grandsons and one granddaughter – all of whom have him wrapped around their little fingers!!

Photo of Nick Abplanalp

Nick Abplanalp

Nick is an owner and director of one of NZ’s largest privately owned I.T companies. He attended National Camp in 1999 and has been ‘sold’ on the ministry ever since. He is married to Mary Anne and they have one daughter who now works in the Government sector.

Photo of Vanessa Creamer

Vanessa Creamer 

Vanessa started attending National camp in 1998, and has not missed a camp since. She joined the Auckland Branch of CFFD in 2002, acting as chairperson for 11 years, before moving to Wellington in 2015. After volunteering each Tuesday for three years at the drop in centre she started her Bachelor of Applied Theology at Carey Baptist College, graduating in 2013. Vanessa has worked as a Legal Executive, a teacher aide for a Deaf child, an Executive Assistant for the Mental Health and Deputy Commissioner, Disability (HDC), and currently works in providing employment support for people with mental health issues.


Dr John Fox

Revd Dr John Fox has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Auckland. He has been an academic, worked in family and community restoration, public policy, disability advocacy and work with children, young people and the elderly. He is the uncle and brother of adopted children, a disabled person with spastic hemiplegia, a University chaplain and Priest Assistant in the Anglican parish of Sumner and Redcliffs. He specialises in good coffee, teaching adults to read, music, and slow food.