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Board - Sweet Louise

Email: - Call: 0800 11 22 77

Our Board


Scott Perkins - Chairman

Scott is an active participant in the not for profit communities in Australia and New Zealand. He co-founded Sweet Louise, is also the founding Director of the New Zealand Initiative, a Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, a Non Executive Director of Woolworths Limited, Non Executive Director of Origin Energy and was a founding Director of Meridian Energy Limited. He has more than 20 years experience as a leading corporate adviser, most recently as Head of Corporate Finance for Deutsche Bank.

“I am inspired every day by Sweet Louise. Our members keep telling us that we make a real difference to their lives. Lives that deal with big questions as well as day to day challenges. But lives that can be positive and fulfilling. Sweet Louise extends a helping hand, listens, explains and inspires – when I hear about what our wonderful team does every day, it warms my heart and reminds me of why Sweet Louise is so important to me.”


Joan Withers – Trustee

Joan is the Chair of The Warehouse Group and Mercury, as well as being a Director of ANZ Bank NZ. She is the former Chief Executive of media firms, The Radio Network and Fairfax New Zealand, and is a former Chair of Auckland Airport. 

Joan is a champion for board diversity, especially around closing the gender gap through assisting more women into senior management and board positions. She is a member of Global Women and a Trustee of the Tindall Foundation. At the end of 2014, she became the first ever female recipient of the Shareholders' Association’s Beacon Award.

“Having known Louise as she faced her greatest challenge, it is a privilege to be able to serve as a Trustee and in a very small way, assist women living with advanced breast cancer. Louise’s approach and attitude as well as the support and love she received from Scott was, and is, an inspiration.”


Janet Mikkelsen – Trustee

Janet has over 30 years experience as a nurse. For 24 years she worked as a paediatric nurse at Starship’s Hospital before moving into paediatric palliative care. For seven years she supported children with any type of life limiting illness, and their families. In 2013 Janet became the Director of State of Grace Funeral Services.

“As Louise’s oldest sister and having been very involved in her care, I had a clear idea about what she would want for other women in the same situation. But probably more useful was that I had been an oncology nurse, although in paediatrics, for 20 years and so I had a really good idea of the kinds of issues, both physical and psychological that women would face. I also had an in-depth knowledge of the health system, both inpatient and outpatient, so could help the other board members understand the reality for our members.”


Chanelle Farmer – Trustee

Chanelle was educated in Wellington and started her career in financial services before moving to Auckland in 1989. She spent 15 years in the recruitment industry managing her own business, specialising in office support and middle management recruitment, before retiring to start a family.

Chanelle has a strong interest in the arts and has been involved in extensive fundraising and awareness initiatives. She joined the Board of New Zealand Opera in 2009 and is presently Deputy Chair. She is also Chair of the Circle100 Scholarship, which recently celebrated 20 years of providing support to young opera singers going overseas to study.

Chanelle’s interests include travel, playing golf and tennis, and outdoor family pursuits.


Vernon Harvey – Trustee

Professor Vernon is a consultant medical oncologist and clinical director at Auckland Hospital, and clinical associate professor at the Department of Pathology at the University of Auckland Medical School. Up until 1991 he was the president of the New Zealand Society for Oncology, and he has also been the chairman of the New Zealand Clinical Oncology Group. He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Medicine, particularly Oncology Research in the 2010 New Years Honours.

“I was Louise’s oncologist and was so impressed by her contagious zest for life. She recognised how important “little treats” were for overall well-being. Sweet Louise aims to make that possible for every women with secondary breast cancer – to give them moments of joy they might otherwise not have had.”


Brett Shepherd – Trustee

Brett is the Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Craigs Limited where he heads the newly formed Deutsche Craigs Investment Banking Team. This follows a 16 year career in Deutsche Bank New Zealand. Brett has led or advised on some of the largest M&A activity in New Zealand and is a prominent figure in the investment industry. He has been named Outstanding Maori Business Leader.

“I was blessed to know Louise and see the power of positive thinking and positive action and how it could both improve the quality and longevity of someone’s life. When Sweet Louise was established I was grateful for the opportunity to become a Trustee, to see how we could take a proven approach of improving quality in a tangible manner and making that available to all women with metastatic breast cancer throughout New Zealand. To break down all barriers in terms of ethnicity, demographics and geography is our continual objective”.