Our team of counsellors and mental health advisors

All of the AUT counsellors and mental health advisors are professionally trained and are members of their relevant professional body. We also have intern counsellors at the AUT City Campus who are in their final stage of training and ready to work with individuals.

​Counsellors and mental health advisors have supervision by another professional as a requirement of their practice. Supervisors provide feedback on the counsellor or mental health advisor’s work and support their professional development.

Peter Shimwell

BA Hons. (Psychology), MA (Youth and Community), PGCert (Management and Supervision), DAPAANZ, Ara Taiohi

Manager Student Counselling and Mental Health - City Campus

Kia ora koutou, I’m Peter. I have the privilege of leading the Student Counselling and Mental Health team here at AUT.

Originally from the UK, I have lived and worked in Aotearoa since 2014 where I have helped develop community health services for children (tamariki), young people (rangatahi) and families (whānau), working with some of the most vulnerable people and groups in NZ.

With a background in youth mental health, education, and community development, my role is to ensure my team is equipped to deliver the very best service to our student community, particularly at times when students might be feeling stressed or overwhelmed in their journey through their studies.

I'm passionate about wellbeing, health and personal development, and I will ensure we work hard as a team to be here to support you when you need us, working closely with colleagues in our academic departments, student support services and external community agencies. We look forward to seeing you across our three campuses; keep well and keep safe.

Peter Shimwell

Harriet Sims

BHSC (Nursing), PGCert (Mental Health Nursing), NZRN

Senior Mental Health Advisor - City Campus

Kia ora tatōu! Ko Harriet Sims tōku ingoa. I grew up around central Tāmaki Makaurau, and while I love to travel and have lived overseas, I always end up returning. I completed my nursing training at AUT in 2014, and I have continued to engage in postgraduate study with AUT over the past few years. I'm really excited to have joined AUT now as a staff member to support students in their education journey.

For more than 10 years, I have worked in and around the mental health sector, as a nurse and as a support worker. As a nurse I have developed a special interest in therapy and have become more specialised over the past few years. I have worked in community mental health teams across Auckland, with the Centre for Youth Health Gender Clinics and at the Regional Eating Disorder Service. I'm experienced in working with people who are struggling with low mood, anxiety, disordered eating, low self-esteem, neurodiversity, PTSD and life transitions. I have also worked closely with people who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and support people exploring their gender and sexuality.

I have experience using a range of therapy models, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT). I take a systemic approach, as I think it is important to consider the system you live within and the impact this has on your wellbeing.

Starting therapy can be a daunting process. I aim to work collaboratively, and use a transparent approach focused on your goals. I aim to provide a welcoming and safe therapy room, to provide you the space to explore and process at your pace.

Harriet Sims

Hendon Stephens

BHSc (Couns), PGCert (Mental Health & Addictions), PGCert (Professional Supervision), PMNZAC, DAPAANZ

Counsellor for Māori - City, North and South Campus

Tena koutou katoa e te whāanau
Ko Taumatamahoe toku Maunga
Ko Tinana te waka
Ko Te Ngonge te wai
Ko Te Tahāwai te Hapu
Ko Te Rarawa Te Iwi
No Pukepoto raua ko Rangi Point ahau
Ko Hendon Stephens taku ingoa.

My name is Hendon Stephens, the first Māori, and first male graduate of AUT’s counselling programme. I have a background in the addictions sector, working alongside addicts in recovery with varying degrees of mental health concerns. My experiences have enabled me to work in the community, with youth and within our prison systems using methods from a narrative, cognitive behavioural therapy, solution-focused, motivational interviewing, and strength-based practices.

My practice is a delicate blend of westernised and indigenous principles that represent my way of being and place in Te Ao Māori and Pakeha realms. This connects me to my spiritual roots, which has provided me guidance throughout my counselling practice and personal journey.

“Mā te wairua tātou e kawe, koia rā taku mahi, kia mauritau te ākonga kia rere ki ngā taumata.” “My role is about healing from within, assisting tauira (students) to find their wings so that they can fly.”

Hendon Stephens

Mark Evans

MHSc (Hons), PGDipCounsPsych, NZPsS

Mental Health Advisor - City and North Campus

Hello, I have been a mental health advisor at AUT since 2020 after I completed my postgraduate training in counselling psychology (also at AUT).

Prior to joining AUT, I worked for almost 15 years in mental health, including as a graduate psychologist for the UK’s National Health Service and then as a dual diagnosis clinician for the Community Alcohol and other Drug Service (CADS) in New Zealand.

I have a particular interest in primary care mental health and improving access to psychological therapy (IAPT).

I strive to empower clients experiencing typical and atypical problems of living to enhance personal, social, educational and vocational functioning.

My practice is informed by a variety of scientific and phenomenological models, including cognitive behavioural therapy and solution focused therapy.

Mark Evans

Morgan Daw

BSW (Hons.), PGCert (Mental Health & Addictions), SWRB, ANZASW

Mental Health Advisor - City Campus

Tēnā koe! Ko Morgan Daw tōku ingoa. Hello, my name is Morgan Daw and I have spent much of my life living in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa, after immigrating from the United Kingdom in 2004; I consider myself a Kiwi and feel Aotearoa is my home. I'm a registered social worker and studied social work for four years at Massey University alongside studying at AUT for my Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions. After five years of being a full-time university student alongside working where I could, I feel as though I have a solid understanding of the complexities of student-life and the difficult challenges that come alongside it, both academically and the potential impact on the wellbeing of ourselves.

Before I started here at AUT, I worked in the field of acute child and adolescent mental health for almost five years, both in the non-government sector and for a district health board. I feel as though I have a range of experience in the therapeutic environment, I love working from a systemic and psychotherapeutic approach to anxiety, depression, OCD, relationship challenges, struggles with identity and the difficulties humans experience with gender identity, sexuality, and anything LGBTQIA+.

I strive to make the therapeutic space safe and warm by getting to know who you are first and foremost, alongside working transparently with you to reach goals in therapy. I also endeavour to de-colonise the work we do by researching and continuing to educate myself on culture, language and learning indigenous models of practice to assure you are respected and feel empowered.

Morgan Daw

Calvin Wang

BHS (Occupational Therapy), NZROT

Mental Health Advisor - City and North Campus

Kia ora, hello and Nihao, my name is Calvin. I was born and grew up in China. I came to New Zealand 17 years ago. I studied the Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy) at AUT. Since I graduated in 2008, I worked in various type of mental health services/settings which includes non-governmental organisations and the district health board.

I'm passionate about mental health support and students' wellbeing. I was an ex-international student at AUT. I deeply understood and valued that mental health issues and other stressors could potentially impact not only on students' academic performance but also their health and wellbeing.

I value a client-first, relationship-centred, and non-judgemental approach in the education sector. I also use a strength-based approach.

I'm trained in areas of intervention such as anxiety/stress/mood management skills/strategy, problem-solving, behavioural exercises, cognitive behaviour therapy, solution focused therapy. I have heart to support your health and wellbeing, alongside your study journey at AUT.

Calvin Wang

Siew Lee Kua

Bachelor of Counselling, PGDip Arts Therapy, MNZAC

Counsellor - City and North Campus

Kia ora koutou, I'm Siew Lee. I'm a counsellor packed with life and professional skills as evidenced by my work and other life experience.

I thoroughly enjoy nurturing relationships with students and supporting them in their personal development, helping them promote healthy, positive emotional and mental wellbeing, self-confidence and resilience. I'm passionate to reflect the values that AUT espouses – tika, pono me aroha. I uphold these values with integrity, respect, and compassion dear to my heart, and have always served my students with integrity and especially deep care.

My ability as a multilingual speaker helps to reduce social barriers and to understand the complexities that students often experience beyond just the language barriers and academic challenges.

I value lifelong learning especially in the field of arts therapy. My Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe has enabled me to be artistically expressive and creative. It strengthened my interpersonal skills to be more open-minded, broad-minded, and respectful of others’ personal values.

Siew Lee Kua

Katie Gribble

BHSc (OT), PGCert (Child and Adolescent Mental Health), NZROT

Mental Health Advisor - North Campus

Kia ora tatou! My name is Katie. I grew up in Warkworth before moving down to Auckland to study occupational therapy, graduating from AUT. I completed further study through the University of Auckland in child and adolescent mental health.

Prior to coming to AUT as a counsellor/mental health advisor I have had a range of experience working primarily with children, adolescents, young adults and their whanau experiencing mental health difficulties.

I'm passionate about exploring and unpacking different challenges that may arise in the context of a person’s current and past experiences. I draw on principles from clinical interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy in my work and aim to provide practical tools and strategies.

I have a warm and non-judgmental approach in my practice and endeavour to be client centred in supporting people to reach individual goals and support their wellbeing.

Katie Gribble

Sarah Godsell

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Learning Disabilities), BSc (Hons) Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Youth), NZRN

Mental Health Advisor - City and South Campus

Kia ora koutou, I’m Sarah.

I’m originally from England, but my strong sense of adventure led me here to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2017 and I’ve been calling it home ever since. With over 12 years in the health sector, my passion for advocacy and equity drove my career, starting my journey training as a Learning Disabilities Nurse in 2008 at Bournemouth University, UK. Since then, I have worked in various mental health services, including acute CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health), before specialising in Youth Public Health in 2015.

Throughout my career, I've mostly worked within educational settings, and my roles have always centred on protecting and improving mental health and wellbeing. So, I am thrilled to be back in a tertiary environment with AUT to support you during your journey.

In my experience, university can present both exciting opportunities and stresses that can impact your mental health. Through a strengths-based and holistic practicing style, my goal in our sessions is to create a judgement-free zone where you feel comfortable bringing your whole self. Together, we can navigate those sometimes-complex areas between “black and white” perspectives in the pursuit of moving forward in a healthy and balanced way.

Sarah Godsell

Tenisha Kumar

BA (Psychology), PGDipCouns (Dist), MHumRights (Dist), PMNZAC

Counsellor - City Campus

Kia ora, Bula Vinaka, Namaste! My name is Tenisha and I am an Aotearoa-born Fijian-Indian. Growing up, I spent a lot of my early childhood between Fiji and Aotearoa New Zealand, but think of Tāmaki Makaurau as home.

I'm a registered counsellor (PMNZAC) and have an undergraduate degree in psychology, postgrad diploma in counselling and Master of Human Rights. I'm currently completing my master's in counselling and feel that I can empathise with the challenges of navigating student life, while working, and making time for all of life's other responsibilities.

Alongside studying, I have spent the last 10 years providing therapy to individuals, couples, families and groups in NGO and government agencies, primarily in youth justice, and domestic and sexual violence. As a Tauiwi, ethnic woman of colour, I'm deeply passionate about de-colonising therapeutic practice. I'm committed to providing culturally responsive mental health support, especially for our ethnic and migrant communities, through continuous professional and personal development.

I offer a holistic, strengths-based and trauma-informed approach to counselling and aim to provide a warm, safe and hopeful space for students to explore the nuances of life's journey and develop skills to support their growth in a collaborative manner.

Tenisha Kumar

Johanna Leighton

BHSP (counselling), PMNZAC

Counsellor –  City and North Campus

Kia ora tatou. My name is Johanna I was born in Wellington and have spent most of my life in Auckland.

Before joining the team at AUT, I worked at Youthline providing face-to-face counselling for young people. With over 10 years' experience providing counselling at a high school, NGO and in private practice.

I am a conscientious, caring counsellor committed to working alongside students in a therapeutic, supportive and collaborative way. I am passionate about supporting people to work towards achieving positive outcomes and empowering them to take control of their physical, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing. I have  worked with individuals who are experiencing a wide range of challenges in their lives.

I draw on a strength-based and person-centred approach and a range of different models and interventions to guide my practice. I am focused on creating a safe and collaborative space to work with students.

Johanna Leighton

Ann Marie Pike

Post Grad Dip HealSci (Mental Health Diagnostics/Research), BAPsych NZPsS

Counsellor – City Campus

My family and I immigrated from Minnesota, USA in 2005 and until 2022, have been based in Kapiti/Wellington, with our second home now in Tamaki Makaurau.

On my career path, I've had variable and creative interests like many AUT students. I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology and broadcast journalism in the USA. I worked in television, education and corporate environments in Minnesota. However, once in Aotearoa, while raising our three children, psychology called me back. I furthered my studies with a Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health with a speciality in diagnostics and research from Otago University. I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Systemic Family Therapy and am a clinical supervisor for student therapists and professionals in practice.

Before coming to AUT, I worked with NGOs and in private practice for more than 18 years in NZ, with specific interests in child, adolescent and family therapies. As an immigrant, I relate with our international student base in those transitional and adjustment needs. I'm a specialist in neurodiversity and am passionate about supporting people through their mental health wellness journeys through person-centred modalities, using blending tools of psychoeducation, creative therapies, developmental frameworks and supportive, solution-focused conversations.

I offer warmth, heart, and humour within a safe, holistic, nurturing therapeutic space.

Ann Marie Pike

City Campus Clinic

Level 2
WB Building

Phone: 09 921 9292

North Campus Clinic

Level 2
AS Building

Phone: 09 921 9292

South Campus Clinic

Rooms MB107a and MB107b
MB Building

Phone: 09 921 9292

Book an appointment

AUT students can make a free face-to-face, phone or video appointment with a counsellor or mental health advisor.


Contact us

General enquiries
Phone: +64 9 921 9292
Email: counselling@aut.ac.nz

City Campus: Level 2, WB Building
North Campus: Level 2, AS building
South Campus: MB107b

Lifeline 24 Hour Support:
0800 543 354
Central Auckland Crisis Team:
0800 800 717

Feedback or questions
Email the manager directly if you have feedback, complaints, compliments, questions or ideas: peter.shimwell@aut.ac.nz