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 have served as Salvation Army Officers in a range of appointments over the years. Mat now works 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 a background in youth work and now works for the Youth Department as the Territorial Youth Programme Coordinator which involves planning events and supporting youth workers. She loves animals, being creative and reality TV, along with her husband, Anthony, and their son, Aaron.
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 Jeannine Serevi - Divisional Youth Secretary and Divisional Children's Secretary
Jeannine loves God, whanau, her dog and life in general. She's married to Joe and has three teenage children living at home: Josiah, Rosey and Annie. They also have an older daughter Melinnie who lives in Fiji with their three gorgeous grandchildren. Jeannine has lived all over beautiful Aotearoa but calls Upper Hutt home, as that’s where Mum and Dad live. She is super excited about this new role, as she is passionate about seeing young people encounter Jesus and build real relationships with Him.
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.
Mele Vaea - Regional Youth Worker
My name is Mele Taufa Michaeline Vaea, and I am the Youth Worker of The Salvation Army of Tonga Region. My parents are Majors Frederick and Major 'Ana Vaea, I've got four siblings, and our family is serving the Kolovai Corps Plant out west. I love food, love music, love to dance, and I'm a performer in culture shows in the Kingdom of Tonga. I love the energy working for Youth, but I still have just touched the surface of what I'm passionate about.