Meet our Board of Trustees

Our Trust is run by and for the people of Hawke’s Bay. Meet some of the dedicated individuals who make up our Board of Trustees.

Sarah Walker


A founding trustee of the HBBCT, Sarah Walker is a Chartered Accountant and Director at Epplett & Co in Hastings.

Born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, Sarah has strong ties to the area. And, she is passionate about ensuring her young children love the opportunities, people and environment here as much as she does.

Sarah has an interest in farming and sustainability, and she and her husband own a small block in Central Hawke’s Bay.

When not working, she enjoys gardening or spending time with her family, whether that be playing card games, adventuring on the cycle trails or reading books.

Margaret Baker


A founding Trustee of the HBBCT, Margaret Baker was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2008.

Margaret was involved with the Encore Programme (YMCA), which was a support group for Breast Cancer patients, as well as Relay for Life and Pink Walks, which raise money for Cancer research.

With a long career in secretarial and not-for- profit work (Lowe Corporation and Special Olympics HB), Margaret was an obvious choice for this role in our Trust.

In her spare time Margaret enjoys golf, biking and travel.

Lesley Leech


Since settling in Hawke’s Bay several years ago, Lesley Leech and her family make the most of living by the ocean.

Lesley joined Hawke’s Bay Breast Cancer Trust to make an active contribution to a locally based charity, where money raised goes directly to helping people in the community.

She volunteers at Roundabout Pre-loved Boutique in Ahuriri, and owns a small personal- styling business that helps women to feel more confident and dress each day with joy and purpose.

In her spare time, Lesley enjoys cycling and walking as well as just taking time out to watch the world go by.

Cath Thorp


With a BA degree in nursing, Cath Thorp is a registered general nurse with over 29 years’ experience working in a variety of settings.

Having been diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer in 2004 (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy), Cath has a clear insight into how breast cancer affects women, and she draws on this experience to help others.

In 2006, Cath trained as a facilitator for the YWCA Encore gentle exercise programme for women recovering from breast cancer. Since then, she has updated her skills and knowledge with ongoing training and has run one or two programmes a year.

Steve Connell


Steve Connell is an experienced business coach and strategist who has worked with a wide range of businesses in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

Born in Napier, Steve is now back in the Hawkes Bay after living in Australia for 30 years.

Steve’s skills and experience are essential for helping the Hawke’s Bay Breast Cancer Trust thrive and make a bigger impact in the treatment of breast cancer.

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