Life Unlimited Board of Trustees

John Dobson, Chair

John Dobson has been a trustee of Life Unlimited since the establishment of the organisation in 1979 and chair since 1991.

John recently retired from the Hamilton office of PwC after a long career and its antecedent firms, for over 30 years as a partner and more recently as executive director. He is now a principal at JRD Advisory where he focuses on litigation support work especially shareholder and relationship property disputes.

John specialised in financial management and advisory services to a wide range of private, corporate and public sector clients with a particular interest in valuation, business sales and dispute resolution.

After completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at Auckland University in 1973, he undertook various accounting and commercial assignments in Hamilton and overseas in Montreal and Bermuda.

John supports his wife, Louise, in a number of other charitable endeavours.

The couple have three adult children. Apart from his family, John’s passions are golf, fly fishing and Asian cuisine. Read more.

Mary Cave-Palmer, Trustee

Mary is an experienced business adviser and director with skills including governance, business planning and analysis, coaching, and education.

Mary has experienced corporate governance on both sides of the board table in a variety of industries. She’s held senior management and/or governance roles with district health boards, Crown Research Institutes, Local Government-owned commercial companies, Tertiary Education Institutes and Government departments. In 2017 Mary completed 15 years on the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) board, including five years as chair.

She has worked in tertiary education, conservation, manufacturing, business consulting, civil construction, quarrying, waste management, public health services and scientific research. She currently works at the Department of Conservation, providing financial advice and business support for many “green” investment initiatives that are primarily for environmental and social impact.

She is a Chartered Member of Institute of Directors NZ, a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & NZ, and a Fellow of Corporate Governance NZ.
Outside of work Mary is an active member of the Riverlea Environmental Society, and a member of the Waikato Rivertones Chorus which raises funds for many charitable organisations in the Waikato.

Lindsay Cumberpatch, Trustee

Lindsay CumberpatchLindsay Cumberpatch was formerly chief executive of the D V Bryant Trust, a long established philanthropic trust in the Waikato. Lindsay has more than 30 years’ experience in the community sector. He gained a Bachelor of Arts degree, at Auckland University in 1976 and then went on to receive a Licentiate in Theology and Certificate in Adult Teaching.

Lindsay has served as Presbyter of the Hamilton and Invercargill Methodist Parishes, been the Ecumenical Campus Chaplain at the University of Waikato and the Chief Executive of Workplace Support Waikato, and most recently was Director of Hamilton Methodist Social Services. During this time he also served as Chairperson of the Hamilton Combined Christian Foodbank Trust. He is also a member of Poverty Action Waikato and Hamilton Council of Christian Social Services. Lindsay is currently a Trustee on the Hamilton Christian Nightshelter Trust and in 2019 received a Hamilton City Council Civic Award for his services to the community.

Lindsay is married to Lynley, they have two adult sons and a granddaughter.  His other interests are tramping, photography, music and travel.


Vaughan Mikkelson

Vaughan Mikkelson, Trustee

Vaughan has an extensive knowledge of the health and disability sector through advisory work ranging from Enabling Good Lives Waikato to Hamilton City Council’s Access Advisory Group. Through these experiences he has gained valuable and extensive knowledge on how the health and disability system currently operates and how it may be transformed.
Vaughan has a passion for advocating for disability rights and inclusion. He has presented work base trainings, seminars and lectures around the social model of disability and health through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This interest has been developed through obtaining his Masters in Political Science, Masters in Philosophy, Bachelor in Applied Communications, and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations.
Currently he is studying a Graduate Diploma in Psychology part-time at The University of Waikato.
Vaughan comes from a rugby loving family. He is an avid cricket follower. He enjoys reading, following foreign affairs and a good coffee.

Tiffiney Perry, Trustee

Tiffiney Perry

Tiffiney is a Trustee of the Brian Perry Charitable Trust. The Trust supports community projects in the Waikato and partners with organisations to build stronger communities. She is vice chair of Parafed Waikato, a not for profit organisation that promotes and provides sport and recreation opportunities for people with physical disabilities and visual impairments and secretary of New Zealand Wheelchair Tennis.

Tiffiney is herself a passionate sports person. She has represented NZ at the Paralympics in 2004 in Athens playing wheelchair tennis. More recently she has represented New Zealand in hand cycling at various world cups and world champs around the world. In 2018 she received a Hamilton City Council Civic Award for her services to sport and the community.

She is married to Chris Harvey and has two children Emma and Jack. Read more

Bruce Tocker, Trustee

Bruce TockerBruce was co-founder of Life Unlimited in 1979 when the Trust was established under the name “Disabled Living Centre (Waikato)”. He has held the position of chair, including the period when a significant fundraising campaign was undertaken to build the present building in Palmerston Street debt free.

Bruce is a life member of Parafed Waikato having been a co-founder of the organisation in 1967 – past Treasurer and President also being some of his roles. As an athlete Bruce was involved in Paralympic sports and then went onto administrative roles culminating in being the NZ Paralympic team Chef de Mission at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

Bruce was CEO of Paralympics NZ from 1987 to 1995, and then was Finance Manager at Sport Waikato from 1995 to 2006. He is currently Chairperson of Melville High School Board of Trustees, and Treasurer of Rukuhia Community Hall Society.

Together with his wife Helen and daughter Alana, he voluntarily teaches young children to swim utilising the swimming pool at the site of the Latter Day Saints complex. His hobby is racing slot cars, being President of the Hamilton Slot Car Club.

Sarah Verran, Trustee

Settling in Cambridge, and after a life-changing diagnosis for her daughter, meant a change of perspective and a desire to move into a new career path, away from the corporate sector and into the social sector.

With many years in sales, marketing and media, Sarah has used her skills and knowledge of both sectors to facilitate strong networks and relationships.

Sarah works with an organisation that provides a CMS solution which supports community organisations to manage client information and report on data.

Accessing a multitude of services for her daughter on a daily basis has enabled Sarah to see where positive change can be made. She is passionate about offering practical insights as to how to access resources from a more effective wraparound model of care service.

With lived experience of day-to-day care, and how the access of services looks for the end user, means Sarah is a keen advocate for disability and mental health challenges in the Waikato, both government and NGO.

Her high-energy personality means she is not afraid to get stuck in to advocate for better outcomes.

Having won the 2018 Emerging Director in the Disability sector for the Waikato Institute of Directors was an honour for Sarah. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on the Parent to Parent board.

A love for cooking and being creative with a sewing machine allows her to keep a sense of herself whilst caring for her family.