As Financial Mentors we are here to guide you through your options as you seek to improve your money situation.
All team members are fully trained and experienced in personal financial mentoring. Our passion is to enhance your financial literacy by introducing concepts to build your knowledge in managing your own money.
Jo Wolferstan – Senior Mentor
As a West Auckland born and raised mother of three, I understand how stressful and confusing sorting out your personal finances can be. That’s why I became a qualified financial mentor.
My heart’s desire is to work with individuals and whānau like you within our local communities to help you achieve your financial goals. I’ll walk alongside you and support you to get the best financial outcome whether that’s with a savings plan, debt reduction plan, or support with hardship applications.
Tracey O’Connor – Financial Mentor
My background is as a professional tennis player turned coach and business owner. I live with my partner Greg, son Maihi, and dog Archie.
I’m passionate about helping people and am empathetic and caring in my approach to find innovative solutions to your financial challenges, believing that it’s always best to focus on solutions not problem. People call me the Personal Budgeting Queen because I love tracking and discovering new ways to save money within my own personal budget and love to use those skills to help others.
Mahesha Gabadage – Financial Mentor
Originally from Sri Lanka, I live in West Auckland with my husband and 15-year-old son. I moved to New Zealand seven years ago as an MBA student. Once I completed my MBA, I joined a tertiary education institute as a lecturer. My passion, however, is to support vulnerable people in the community. This led me to change my career and move into the social sector.
I’ve been working as a financial mentor for three and half years. I find fulfilment in using my financial knowledge, expertise, and community connections to journey with whānau, helping them sort out and understand their financial issues, and achieve the personal financial goals they set for themselves.
Pelea Ngatokao – Kahukura (Financial Mentor Specialist)
My husband and I have four children. When the weather is good, you’ll find us all out on the moana fishing for those big snappers and kingi’s. My experience is working with young people, children and families within the community. It’s a privilege walking alongside individuals and families in their journey toward positive and lasting change.
What I love about financial mentoring is that I get to meet you where you are at and journey with you, supporting you to build your financial confidence and knowledge, so you can achieve your short and long-term financial goals.
Lisa Sherring – Volunteer Administrator
Kia Ora, ko Lisa Sherring tōku ingoa. My background is as an IT professional software developer but, after spending time supporting two former refugee families through Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Support volunteer programme, I chose to redirect my focus away from corporate work and into helping people. After working with the Visionwest Pātaka Kai for six months, I was inspired to work for Visionwest permanently.
I’m privileged to have a husband, Tim, and three teenaged children, plus a dog, cat and chickens. I’m currently working towards a New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing in mental health and addictions support work through Unitec and, in my spare time, I love camping, beaches, bush walks, gardening, knitting, sewing and pottery. I’m learning Spanish and Te Reo Māori.
I enjoy working with Visionwest Budgeting Service and looking forward to increasing my skills so I can help clients with their needs.