Our Leadership Team

Staff from our different locations can be found below. Please feel free to expand their information to find out more about each staff member.

Our Leadership Team

CEO & Executive Leadership Team

Dr. Christine Howard-Brown


As Chief Executive of ABI Rehabilitation, Christine is responsible for the overall leadership of the company together with the Managing Director, driving the company’s strategy and growth.    

Christine looks after all aspects of the company’s business and professional responsibilities working with the executive leadership team.  Christine has extensive leadership experience and an in-depth understanding of the health and disability sector. She is enthusiastic about creating opportunities to achieve good outcomes for ABI Rehabilitation clients, their families and whānau.

Christine has a special interest in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord impairment and service integration. Prior to joining ABI Rehabilitation, Christine built a successful career in the health and disability sector having led significant projects including the development of national strategies and action plans.

Tony Young

General Manager – Rehabilitation Services

Tony is a graduate of Auckland Physiotherapy School and worked at Waikato Hospital prior to moving to London. During his time in London he continued to work in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. On returning to New Zealand in 2002 he worked at ABI Rehabilitation as a physiotherapist while completing a post-graduate diploma in Rehabilitation. In 2016, Tony completed a post-graduate diploma in business studies specialising in Health Management through the Auckland Business School and has since taken on the role of General Manager – Rehabilitation Services. Through an interdisciplinary approach, including involvement from the client and their family, his key philosophy of rehabilitation is to support the client to obtain the skills required to maximise their participation in meaningful activities.   

Angela Davenport

Rehabilitation Nurse Advisor

Angela has worked as an RN for over 20 years. She was charge nurse at Auckland Hospital’s neurology/TBI ward for five years before moving to ABI Rehabilitation initially as nurse manager. Angela now works with admissions team and liaises with DHBs within the North Island. Her focus has been equitable access to, and seamless transitions from hospital to rehabilitation for clients with TBI.

Following graduation, Angela completed a BHSc (Nursing) through Charles Sturt University and a MHSc (Nursing) through Auckland University. Her clinical doctorate (DHSc) explored how rehabilitation nurses documented their contribution within rehabilitation. This integrated her interest in advancing the practice of rehabilitation nurses.

Graham McIndoe

Company Accountant

Graham has over 20 years’ experience in operational financial management, specializing in establishing and streamlining systems. A resourceful and innovative problem solver, he holds the firm belief that robust processes and procedures are an integral part of sound commercial management in any sector of the economy. Graham enjoys the challenge of working as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure the highest quality service standards are delivered, to ensure positive outcomes for clients, their families and wider communities. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Graham is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds a commerce degree from the University of Auckland majoring in accounting.

Michelle Wilkinson

Service Development Manager

Michelle has 20 years experience in rehabilitation, service design, development and leadership. She has worked for a large funder (ACC) in practitioner and at strategic leadership levels.  More recently Michelle has worked in operational leadership roles for community organisations who provide rehabilitation.

Michelle has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Education and post graduate qualifications in Special Education and Business Management.

Michelle is passionate about evidenced based practice, equity, client voice and loves collaborating with like minded people to improve rehabilitation service delivery approaches in New Zealand.

Dr. Pauline Penney

Operations Manager – Community and Residential Services

Pauline believes in a person-centred rehab approach that empowers individuals to achieve relevant, functional outcomes. This is supported by having a skilled team of rehab professionals working collaboratively with clients and families, and underpinned by organisational processes that optimise consistent quality and best practice.

Pauline graduated as a Physiotherapist in 1991, and gained a Masters of Health Science in 2007 followed by a PHD in 2014.

Pauline has over 25 years clinical experience as a physiotherapist, working in a wide variety of public and private settings, with clients from all age groups. As an executive, Pauline has held management positions in several organisations and is currently on the executive board of the Northern Rehabilitation Providers Group, and the Foster Hope charity board.

Donna Gordon

Quality Manager

Donna has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, consolidating clinical practice across a range of health settings including general health and mental health. Following registration Donna continued to study completing an Advanced Diploma in Nursing and a Masters in Management.

As the Quality Manager Donna is responsible for supporting teams to implement continuous quality improvements across the continuum of services provided. She is committed to strengthening quality systems with the passionate belief that in doing so outcomes for our clients, their families and whanau will be optimized.

Anthony Lowen

People and Culture Manager

Anthony joined ABI Rehabilitation in 2022, bringing a background of providing HR services in public healthcare for over 5 years (including Te Toka Tumai | Auckland DHB and Counties Manukau Health).

He holds postgraduate qualifications in Psychology and HR Management, and is passionate about improving workplace culture to create great places to work. Anthony is particularly interested in continuous improvement in workplace processes, and ensuring our workforce is enabled to perform at the top of their scope.

Te Rina Ruru-Pelasio

Māori Development Manager

Te Rina (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) is grounded in whānau experience as her older brother sustained a severe traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident in 2007. This coupled with the experiences of other whānau she met on their journey, has increased her awareness of the quality, safety and cultural issues whānau face on a day-to-day basis. This inspired her to attain a Bachelor of Laws and Social Science with a focus on Health & Disability.

Te Rina has worked for Te Pare ō Toi (Māori Health – BOPDHB) where she contributed to the implementation of Te Toi Ahorangi. She has been a member of national advisory groups such as Royal Australasian College of Physicians Consumer Board, ACC Whole Pathways Collaborative, HQSC Consumer Network & Te Roopū Māori group, among others.  Te Rina has since co-founded Camp Unity, to support young people who provide care to a whānau, or aiga member with a disability, illness, or injury requiring daily support.

Te Rina is passionate about influencing positive operational and systemic change to improve the experiences of whānau as they navigate the health system. 

Meghna Thaker

IT Manager

Meghna has 15 years of experience in IT industry, she has joined ABI in 2015 and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of all ABI Information Technology and Communication Systems as well as managing in house IT service desk and external providers to support all ABI services.

Meghna has a Bachelor of Mathematics degree and Diploma in Computer Hardware & Networking, she also holds certification in Microsoft applications and infrastructure. Before joining ABI Meghna has worked for variety of industry including retail, computer hardware and software consulting in New Zealand.

Senior Management Team

Dr. Richard Seemann

Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine
Medical Director – Community Services

Dr Richard Seemann is a graduate of Otago Medical School and a specialist in rehabilitation medicine who has previously worked in neurology and elder health services. He has worked for ABI Rehabilitation for 15 years, the last six as full-time director of medical services for the company. He is very enthusiastic about providing world-class rehabilitation for his patients with traumatic brain injury and other serious neurological disorders, backed up by a significant research programme, and benchmarking with similar services in Australia and the USA. He also believes in providing services specifically targeted to the needs of Maori and the varied ethnic groups that make up the population of Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Dr. Soyoung Kim

Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine
Medical Director – Auckland

Dr Soyoung Kim graduated from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and started her rehabilitation training in Australia. She moved to New Zealand in 2014 and obtained her fellowship as a specialist in rehabilitation medicine from the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2018.

Dr. Robin Sekerak

Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine
Medical Director – Wellington

Dr Robin Sekerak has been our Wellington consultant since she joined ABI in 2012. Robin trained as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician at the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine in The Texas Medical Centre. Robin is a Fellow of The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Robin is a specialist in Acquired Brain Injury; her training included the cutting edge acute neurotrauma and acute stroke units at Memorial-Hermann hospital to the outpatient setting. She is passionate about a person and family centered approach; incorporating her training from brain science to that of individuals, families, an society in a holistic model to empower the individual and family in self-management, self-determination and self-advocation. She loves working with professionals, families and individuals on brain injury and stroke knowledge; from prevention to rehabilitation, and adjustment.

Dr Cynthia Bennett

Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine
Medical Director

Dr Cynthia Bennett has worked in a variety of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States as a physical therapist and then as a staff Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician. Since coming to NZ in 2009, she has worked as a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine. For 11 years she was Clinical Head the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit and the Rehabilitation Services for Counties Manukau Health.

She is the immediate past Chair of the NZ branch of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and was the NZ representative on the AFRM council, an AFRM Policy and Advocacy committee member, and a member of the RACP NZ committee. 

She is a current board member of the NZ Artificial Limb Service.  Dr Bennett has been integral in the development of numerous AFRM initiatives, the New Zealand Spinal Cord Impairment Action Plan, the NZ Spinal Cord Injury Registry, the NZ Amputee Rehabilitation Pathway, and the Call for a New Zealand Rehabilitation Strategy.

Helena Lister

Rehabilitation Services Manager – Auckland

Christine Remfrey

Nursing Services Manager – Wellington

Amado Torres

Rehabilitation Services Manager – Wellington

Amado joined the ABI Rehabilitation-Wellington team in 2006 as a Speech and Language Therapist after moving from the USA to New Zealand. He brings over 28 years of experience to ABI. During the following twelve years, Amado has also filled the role of Therapy Team Leader and most recently has become the Director of Rehabilitation in Wellington. Amado has a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree majoring in Speech Pathology, Master of Arts (coursework) – specializing in Speech and Language Pathology, and a Master of Education specialising in Special Education. Before moving to Wellington, Amado has worked in the Philippines and the USA. Amado has a creative approach to rehabilitation and is all about getting the best possible outcomes for the clients and their families.

Louise Kelly

Nursing Services Manager – Auckland

Louise is a registered nurse with extensive experience in mental health and nursing education. She joined the team at ABI in and has worked closely with the nursing team in particular to develop the rehabilitation nursing role. She became nursing team manager and then operational manager in 2014 and has developed an appreciation of both the client and family expectations as well as the level of service provided in the rehabilitation setting.

Kristen Clarke

Community Services Manager – Wellington, Wairarapa and Manawatu

Kristen is an Occupational therapist with over 30 years’ experience in rehabilitation. After working in mental health for 15 years, she developed an interest in working with people who have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury. This lead to specialisation in rehabilitation for clients with mild to severe TBI across a range of ACC contracts. She began her role as Community Service Manager at ABI Wellington in October 2015 and has worked to develop and consolidate the service provision in line with ABI’s recent growth.

During this time, Kristen has attended Otago University and gained a Master’s degree in Health Sciences endorsed in Rehabilitation. The topic of her research was, “Education in the management of acute concussion to Parents”.  Kristen remains passionate about educating and supporting others to extend the knowledge of TBI and concussion evidence based rehabilitation.

Andria Bayer

Residential Services Manager – Auckland

Andria graduated as an occupational therapist in 2000 and gained a a Post-graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation in 2008.

Prior to taking up the role as Residential Services Manager Andria has worked as a senior community occupational therapist and clinical supervisor for ABI Community Services where she has focussed on the development of a specialist paediatric concussion service. Prior to joining ABI Andria was employed as Area Manager for an Auckland based Residential Rehabilitation Service for adult clients following severe traumatic brain injury. Prior to this she established and ran a community based multidisciplinary service contracting to ACC which provided therapy services for adults and children following injury.

Andria is passionate about the client-centred rehabilitation which encompasses the client and family’s individual journey towards maximal functional independence.

Rachelle Bennett

Community Services Manager – Auckland and Northland

Rachelle Bennett

Rachelle worked in inpatient and community rehabilitation since 1996 and brain injury rehabilitation in residential and community settings since 2000. Rachelle has had many roles within ABI Rehabilitation since 2008, including rehab coordinator, community occupational therapist and Team Leader for ABI Rehabilitation’s concussion services.

For the past year Rachelle has been employed as the community services manager. Rachelle manages the community team in Auckland as well as carries a clinical caseload. Working in the community and helping clients achieve their goals is a rewarding part of her role. Rachelle is focused on growing the community team and building excellence and skill amongst ABI’s clinicians. Rachelle has implemented strategies over the past 12 months that have improved ABI’s services.