The NZFTS territory's youth team has a pretty impressive line-up. All these cats do an amazing job with all things youth related - running programmes and events, looking after youth in their corner of the territory and pretending to be young themselves.
Check them out and get to know them a little better below. You could even print out their pictures and make collectable cards... Do it!
TERRITORIAL YOUTH DEPARTMENT - NEW ZEALAND, FIJI, TONGA & SAMOA
Captain Mat Badger - Territorial Youth Secretary
Mat is married to Jules, and together they’ve served as Salvation Army Officers in a range of appointments over the years. Mat now joins us in the Youth Department as the Territorial Youth Secretary as well as the Youth Missions Training Director and Blue Mountain Adventure Centre Director (got enough titles?!). Mat is a great guy with a great beard, and we’re excited about the experience and passion he brings to the role of supporting The Salvation Army’s work with young people throughout New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
Claire Gardner - Youth Programme Coordinator
Claire has been doing youth work at Johnsonville Corps for the last five years and now joins the Youth Department as the Territorial Youth Programme Coordinator which involves planning events and supporting youth workers. The Salvation Army Johnsonville is Claire's home corps where she attends with her husband Anthony and their son Aaron. She loves animals, being creative and reality TV! Claire is excited to join the Youth Department and can't wait to get to know you all!
Leslie D'Mello - Administrator and Youth Programme Advisor
Leslie is the only person on THQ that knows what’s going on, and what he doesn't know he makes up. Without him, the youth department is like a confused huddle of penguins on a drifting iceberg. He's a bit of a cheeky bloke but is the kind of guy you want on your quiz team.
Scott Keane - Youth Web and Resource Manager
Scott works part-time for the Youth Department looking after the Firezone website along with the territorial youth social media. He's also currently doing a bit of study towards a Bachelor of Theology at Laidlaw College. In his spare time, Scott enjoys watching movies and TV series with his wife, Rosy, and loves a good board game sesh with mates.
Vanessa Singh - Mission Resource Developer
Vanessa's main role in the Youth Department is to oversee Amplify (our annual territorial creative arts camp) as well as bringing some style and class to the team. Although the majority of Vanessa's work is for another department, she just can't let go of youth ministry, and is also involved in leading young people at her corps. Vanessa enjoys initiating office sing-alongs to Ron Kenoly and '90s Hillsong, and if you bring her Krispy Kremes, you're automatically her new BFF!
Lieutenant Naomi Holt - Divisonal Youth Secretary
Naomi joins the Northern Divisional team as Youth Secretary and officer for Spiritual Life. She is passionate about God and young people, and young people experiencing God. Naomi likes long walks in the wilderness with a pack on her back, dancing the night away and shooting arrows with her bow from horseback. That last one may not be true ... but she wishes it was. She has two fantastic young boys who keep her on her toes and gets to work in partnership with her husband Nathan.
Lieutenant Nathan Holt - Divisonal Youth Secretary
Nathan returns to the youth team as Youth Secretary for Northern Division after having worked with youth previously at THQ and at Tawa Corps in his younger days. He's passionate about raising up an army that loves Jesus and lives like Jesus. Nathan loves to watch basketball and American football and shoot people ... on his computer. He has practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and can kill a man with his bare hands.
Lieutenant Jordan Westrupp - Divisional Youth Secretary
Jordan has always been a part of Salvation Army church life; countless great people have invested into him, and given opportunities through the Army. He wants Youth to have this very same amazing experience. Jordan likes to think of himself as the Territorial Secretary for Caffeinated Beverages - because his other role is running the Hamodava Coffee Company for the Army.
Major Katherine Sonntag - Divisional Youth Secretary and Divisional Children's Secretary
Katherine is a great for the role of overseeing all things youth in the Central Division. She has a wealth of experience in youth ministry, having been DYS in previous appointments. She also oversees the children's work in the Central Division. Katherine loves hanging out, drinking a strong coffee and investing into young people! Say hi when you see her around!
Kate Geddes - Divisional Youth and Children's Mission Director
As part of Kate's role, she gets to organise and facilitate all the events and camps for youth and kids in the Central Division, which means dreaming big, hanging out with young people and leaders at these events and seeing what God wants to do in the lives of young people in Central Division. She also helps with mission resourcing of corps and centres. Kate has grown up in the Central Division so Central blood flows through her veins! She loves hanging out and having a yarn over a coffee and cake, having fun, going to the beach, watching movies, dancing like a crazy person and eating M&Ms. If you're ever around Central DHQ, pop in and say hi!
Major Alison Moody - Divisional Youth and Candidates Secretary
Alison knows a thing or two about young people, having raisied three handsome young men and ministering to a million young people throughout her officership. Alison and her husband David are team players and love to travel the South Island together and get into youth and children's ministry... while riding their Harley.
Lieutenant Seru Napolioni - Divisional Youth Secretary
Landing the privleged job of doing all things youth related in Fiji, Seru gets to travel around the islands and encourage all the youth as well as assist things with his wife Ruci as assitant Corps Officer at Labasa Corps. Seru knows a thing or two about young people and with a bunch of kids of his own, Seru is definitely the right man for the job!
Filipe Saafi - Regional Youth and Children's Secretary
Filipe is a fun-loving, young Tongan dude who is always full of energy, jokes and crazy dance moves. Filipe loves young people and oversees the youth activities in Tonga, while making sure everyone is having a good time and getting their praise on. If you're around Nuku'alofa please make sure you drop by at the Regional Headquarter at Mosimani Building to say hi to Lipe and check out what's coming up for the Youth in Tonga.