The Board

Bob Blyth

Chairman of LifeLine New Zealand since October 2007, Former Chairman of LifeLine Christchurch. Bob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Edinburgh University and holds the qualification of a chartered professional engineer both in UK and New Zealand and is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand, New Zealand Society of Risk Management, the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), the Institution of Highways and Transportation (UK) and the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

A past President of the Rotary Club of Christchurch South; Chairman of the Southern Environmental Trust; Trustee and Chairman of Art & Industry Biennial Trust (SCAPE); presently a Project Director in the New Zealand multidisciplinary practice, Beca. Bob adds experience in governance and management to the LifeLine New Zealand Board.


Meg Sillay

Elected Board member in 2012. Meg has had a professional background in Human Resources working mainly in the Public Service. For the last 15 years she has specialised in Organisational Development.

During her years in Wellington she was a telephone worker with Samaritans of Wellington, and for 12 years was Director of Training and Development. Since moving to Napier she has joined Lifeline Hawkes Bay as a telephone counsellor and is currently Chair of the Lifeline Hawkes Bay Board.

Meg holds a degree in English Literature and a Diploma in Design. She is an enthusiastic (if somewhat deluded) amateur watercolourist.


Peter Farnon

Appointed as Treasurer of LifeLine New Zealand in January 2011. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant being a full member of the NZICA. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Arts (Political Studies) and a Diploma in Business (Marketing) all from the University of Auckland. He is employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Auckland Office where he has worked for the last four years in their Private Client Services division and has been involved (amongst other things) in the auditing of NGO providers of mental health services. Prior to his employment there, Peter had a number of roles in various small to medium commercial enterprises.


Dorothy McCarrison

A member of LifeLine Auckland since 1980, a LLA board member for approximately 12 years to 2011 and since 1980 has undertaken various roles including face-to-face counselling supervisor and a member of the face-to-face Reference Group. Dorothy is a member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (previously on the national executive). Amongst her numerous achievements she has a B.Ed; post graduate in Guidance in Counselling; post graduate Dip.Ed., post grad. Dip. inTeaching and was a Review Officer for the Education Review Office from 1989 to 2006. Dorothy has a part-time private practice in Supervision and Counselling and is actively involved in the Auckland Restorative Justice Trust.


Sim Besley

Board member of LifeLine New Zealand since 2009, Former Chairman of LifeLine Nelson 2003-09 and was a telephone counsellor for Lifeline in Auckland until early 90's. He served on St Oswald's church board as people's and vicar's warden until 2002. Sim has a Bachelor of Business Studies degree from Southbank University and a Master of Science degree from City University in London. He has been a member of the New Zealand Computer Society since 1985 and has held a number of management positions in the IT industry in NZ. He is currently an independent IT consultant based in Nelson.


Lara Grocott

Elected member of LifeLine New Zealand board in 2010.

Lara is a Trust Board member of Lifeline Christchurch. She has a Master of Education with certificate in counselling and is a member of NZAC. Lara has worked with adolescents since 1999, firstly, as a secondary school teacher and, for the last five years, as a counsellor. She is trained in Solution Focus and Narrative Therapy and has a keen interest in Positive Psychology.


Sarah Morton-Johnson

Appointed Board member and Vice Chairperson of LifeLine New Zealand in 2012.  Sarah has been the Chairperson of LifeLine Waikato since 2007, having been a telephone counsellor since 2002. Sarah has a Bachelor of Business Studies, and has worked in the Human Resources field for over ten years.  Last year Sarah completed the Governance Development Programme with the Institute of Directors and she has served on the Boards of a number of not for profit organisations including Hamilton Central Baptist Church, The Hub Youth and Family Services, Waikato Engineering Careers Association, and the Remuneration Network.