Meet the Team

Catherine Trezona – National Manager 

Catherine is charged with providing quality, evidence-based and timely information to Autistic people and the professionals and family / whānau who support them.  Catherine is responsible for both the strategic and operational management of Altogether Autism, which is delivered in partnership with Your Way | Kia Roha and Parent to Parent.

Catherine joined Altogether Autism as a researcher in 2014 after completing a Master’s degree in health psychology, and moved into a managerial role in 2015.  She is one of the programme developers and lead facilitators for our Professional Development (formerly PRISM) series, our specialist autism workforce development series.  She brings a passion and commitment to building community and is a strong advocate of seeking and supporting an authentic autistic voice to ensure Altogether Autism is built on the principle and practice of ‘nothing about us without us.’


Emily Acraman  (B.A. – Psychology) – Researcher

Emily joined the Altogether Autism team as a researcher in early 2019.  She graduated from the University of Waikato in 2009 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree majoring in psychology and human development and then completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology.

Emily has worked with children with autism in an education setting and also has experience in the mental health field.  Emily is a mother of two young boys and comes to us most recently from her role as researcher for the Hamilton City Council.

Sanam Bagherian (Ph.D.)

Sanam Bagherian is Autism Specialist Facilitator and has a strong interest in autism and neurodiversity.  Sanam practiced as a clinical psychologist in Iran before moving to Aotearoa New Zealand to work in professional development and teaching services.  Her Ph.D. focused on autism which included delivering psychoeducational programmes to support parents with Autistic children for several years, and more recently has worked with Autistic adults. 

Sanam has published over six studies and presented at events like the 5th World Congress on Positive Psychology (July 2017).  She is passionate about sharing up to date, in-depth and reliable neurodiversity and autism information, and developing practical strategies for the community. 


Kelly Booth – Administrator

Kelly has joined the Altogether Autism team to provide administrative support for Professional Development, Strengthening through Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) and network meetings.


Christina Forrest – Researcher

Ko Manunui ā rangi te waka.
Ko Paeroa me kakaramea nga Maunga.
Ko Waikato te awa.
Ko Ngati Tahu Ngati Whaoa te iwi.
Ko Ohaaki te Marae

Ko Christina Forrest toku ingoa

Christina joined the Altogether Autism team as a researcher in 2022.  She graduated from University of Waikato in 2009 with a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Social Policy; in 2010 with an Honour’s Degree in Psychology; and in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology.

Christina has experience working with children and adolescents in mental health and disability, women and whanau during times of crisis, and supporting communities in need.  She is a mother of two young children and is currently completing a degree in social work.

Jenny Gibbs – Clinical Psychologist

Jenny Gibbs is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked at the Child Development Centre at Waikato Hospital for the past 30 years.  She has a small private practice of quirky kids and their families.  Jenny has a strong interest in autism and autism spectrum conditions.  Jenny is the consultant clinical psychologist for Altogether Autism and was previously a member of the Altogether Autism Professional Expert Group.

In 2009, Jenny was a member of a reference group which gave input into the development of a training toolkit on autism assessment, diagnosis and clinical management for Paediatricians, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists.  She was subsequently invited to co-present this training to these professional groups.

Jamie-Leigh wears a wide brimmed hat and necklace.

Jamie-Leigh Timoti – (Ngai Tai) Online Creation and Engagement

A whole new world has opened up for Jamie-Leigh after being diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood.  A lifelong learner with a passion for people, Jamie-Leigh looks to create effective tools to help you and your organisation learn more about disability and effective ways of support.

Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou – Seek after learning for the sake of your wellbeing.

This whakatauki (saying) teaches that in a world full of noise and confusion, wisdom and well-being will come when we ask questions with a genuine desire to understand the answers.


Ashe Yee – (B.A. – Psychology) – Researcher

Ashe joined the Altogether Autism team as a researcher in late 2019.  She graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2016 with a Bachelor in Psychology (First Class Honours).

She is passionate about delivering evidence-based information to families in need, and in fighting against the spread of misinformation about autism.  Ashe currently works at the University of Waikato as a researcher, was involved in the Counting Ourselves transgender health project, and was named a co-author on the resulting publication.

Dancer Rachael Wiltshire. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court. COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

Rachael Wiltshire – Live Chat Agent / Researcher

Rachael has been passionate about autism advocacy since finding out she was Autistic when she was 12.  This passion led her to present at Altogether Autism’s conferences in 2015 and 2017, and at the Aspect Autism in Education conference in Brisbane in 2018.  

Rachael is particularly interested in education and enjoys working with other neurodivergent students in a peer support and tutoring capacity.  Between 2020 and 2023 Rachael was a member of Altogether Autism’s Consumer Advisory Group and was involved in a number of projects, including writing three of the Tertiary Guides that were published in 2022.  She is excited to now join the team in a permanent capacity as the Live Chat Agent / Researcher. 

Rachael completed her Bachelor of Creativity in Commercial Dance in 2021 and dances at events around Wellington with Society Event Entertainment.  This year she is returning to study with the goal of completing the Master of Intercultural Communication and Applied Translation at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington, where she is looking forward to putting her French and German skills to use. 

Dani Edwards

Dani Edwards, (B.A. Te Reo Māori, PGCert Bus) – Learning and Development Lead.

Sara Meyer

Sara Meyer, (MA Educational Psychology) – Researcher 

Andrew has short blond hair and wears black glasses.

Andrew Walker, (BA Occupational Therapy) – Information Coordinator