Future Students Team


Jayne Mayerhofler, Director

DDI: (09) 921 9211
Mob: 021 2451 372
Email: jayne.mayerhofler@aut.ac.nz

Engaging with students as they make choices about their career path is very dear to my heart. At AUT we ease the transition from secondary school to tertiary education and then into the workforce by helping students make informed career decisions and access the right experts and resources. We also provide wrap-around support when needed.

For the last seven years I have been working in the secondary and tertiary education sector. Before that, I was heavily involved in student recruitment, career pathways and widening participation programmes. I strongly believe it is our duty as a tertiary provider to ensure our students transition smoothly by having all available options presented to them and their whanau. While my career and journey through AUT has flourished through other roles, being involved with our young people is what I love most.

About me

I am married to Mark Mayerhofler and we have two children; Mac (18 years) who is in his first year of university at AUT studying engineering, and Allyana (15 years) who is a very passionate hip hop dancer, dancing with The Royal Family Varsity crew.  Outside of AUT, I enjoy spending time with friends and, when I get the chance, love to run.



Hayley Welch, Manager - Future Students

DDI: (09) 921 9222
Mob: 021 952 161
Email: hayley.welch@aut.ac.nz

I joined the Future Students Team at AUT in 2014 and ever since my first day I have truly felt at home. I believe in education and I am proud to be part of a team that supports our community with their journey into higher education. AUT has been a pivotal part of my journey and I am currently finishing my MBA qualification, graduating at the end of 2017. 

I started my career in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, working in Wellington and then overseas. I returned to New Zealand and moved in to the health sector where I thrived in the role of health promoting schools coordinator. After four years, I was ready for a change and having recently commenced studying at AUT, was grateful to find a new challenging role at AUT not too long after. 

About me
My main priority in life is my family. I am blessed to come from a strong, yet crazy and beautiful family. I grew up in Leigh, and my favourite way to spend a weekend is with my husband and daughter at one of our local beaches with delicious food, sunshine and great music. “Ka haere koe ki whea, ka whai to ataarangi” (wherever you go in life, be grounded in your culture). 


Jason Tutara, Relationship Manager - Outreach

DDI: (09) 921 9208
Mob: 021 871 856
Email: jason.tutara@aut.ac.nz

For me, tertiary recruitment is about establishing rapport with schools and students and then highlighting all of the choices, opportunities and pathways on offer. An informed student is one that will seek more knowledge and make the most of such a partnership. I am pleased to be at AUT, a university that is very industry focused and produces graduates with current skills, knowledge and experience of the 21st century. I look forward to engaging with Tauira Maori across the motu to see how AUT can help them prepare for the future.

I have been working within student recruitment for the past 6 years and love empowering students to take their next steps into tertiary study. Here at AUT I previously worked as an ambassador, part-time lecturer and admissions administrator and studied career development. Making connections with like-minded people and organisations makes my role a very rewarding one.

About me
I love sports. Watching, playing and commenting on it seems to take up my spare time at present. So much so that I am undertaking study within the realm of sport and recreation in 2017.

I also enjoy visiting family in Europe, going to Speedway on the weekends and DJ'ing during the busy summer months.

Sam Pilisi, Manager - Future Students, South Campus

DDI: (09) 921 9899
Mob: 021868455
Email: sam.pilisi@aut.ac.nz

Promoting and fostering educational aspirations in the next generation of leaders is a rewarding role that draws upon establishing and maintaining strong relationships. I really enjoy being at the frontline of equipping our young people with the necessary tools and knowledge to transition well into tertiary study.  As an AUT graduate, I feel a strong fit with the values and skills both of AUT and this role.

From mid-2013 to the end of 2014 I worked at the University of Western Sydney where I was supporting Pacific university students with transition, retention and course completion. I also promoted and fostered aspirations for higher education among Pacific students and their families across 80+ high school and primary schools in the Greater Western Sydney area.

In New Zealand I have also worked at Best Pacific Institute of Education in the challenging role of engaging with Maori and Pacific youth from the West Auckland area who often have had negative experiences with mainstream education. I worked in a similar student recruitment role at Unitec, which involved connecting with parents, school students and secondary school staff.

About me
I am the eldest of five boys, with there being a 29-year gap between me and our youngest brother. I really enjoy advocating and promoting Niue culture as there aren’t many of us in the world! I love sports and use all 4 seasons of the year to play and support a variety of sports.


Linda Strickson-Pua

Linda Strickson-Pua, On Campus Relationship Manager

On Campus Relationship Manager (City Campus)
DDI: (09) 921 9212
Email: linda.strickson-pua@aut.ac.nz 

Kia Ora Koutou. Ko Linda Strickson-Pua taku ingoa.

As a relationship manager based on the City Campus, I provide one-on-one appointments to discuss future study and career options with students and their families. We also cater for schools or large groups that want to visit our City Campus. I have worked here for 12 years.

Prior to AUT, I worked for 15 years in a Pacific Island trust providing communication and employment skills for youth who had disengaged from the New Zealand education system. I hail from four generations of teachers, with my son the latest convert to teaching. I am passionate about education and believe that being well informed is the key to empowering you to make good choices in your educational and career journey.

The personal computer had yet to be realised when I started my tertiary educational journey. The internet didn’t exist. I am the eternal student and enjoy keeping abreast of new developments.

About me
Family is important to me. My family is representative of the multicultural family in a global age, coming from an English background meshed with Samoan, Chinese, Maori, Niuean, Fijian, Filipino and Korean. We write poetry, songs, stories, and produce artwork and music.

This year I look forward to spending time with the Alofa Trampers walking the Camino de Santiago. Over summer we will camp and tramp local, enjoying what is in our immediate backyard. Education can happen anywhere. It’s about ensuring our youth are exposed to a range of experiences that enable them to survive in a world that is constantly changing.


Helen Fonua

Helen Fonua, On Campus Relationship Manager

On Campus Relationship Manager (North Campus)
Phone: (09) 921 9999 Ext. 8574
Email: helen.fonua@aut.ac.nz

I first joined AUT 10 years ago in 2008 as an on-campus relationship manager. In my role I interact and engage with prospective students, offering one-on-one course and career advice as well as hosting schools on campus by providing students with an on-campus experience. 

Prior to AUT, I worked in radio for 12 years as an account manager. I am a mother of three sons who are all at different stages in their lives. The youngest is completing his final year at high school, the middle one starting his first year at university and the oldest is completing his building apprenticeship.

About me
I have always been really involved in my children’s education and served two terms (6 years) as a member on the Board of Trustees for Kelston Boys’ High School and loved every minute of it. I then went on to graduate in 2013 with a Graduate Certificate in Career Development from AUT. I really enjoy working in education because it keeps me informed about the education industry and keeps my knowledge relevant for the younger generation. 

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Sarah-Jane Laing, Relationship Manager

DDI: (09) 921 9950
Mob: 021 705 145
Email: sarah-jane.laing@aut.ac.nz

I am very passionate about working with youth. Being able to help students identify their potential and guide them into a future they are truly excited about is what attracted me to this role.

I applied for this role of relationship manager at AUT after four years as event manager for Stage Challenge, a not-for-profit organisation for whom I organised 20 events nationwide annually involving 16, 000 students. I enjoyed helping to provide young people with new exciting opportunities and skills through Stage Challenge, a 100% smoke and drug free global event that involves students performing dance, design and drama. 

I completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations at AUT in 2011. I loved my course and all the opportunities that studying through AUT provided me. I believe tertiary educations offers a great chance to learn new skills and knowledge, get industry contacts and build lasting relationships. I personally wish to continue to learn and build on skills and knowledge with further study at AUT, where life-long learning is encouraged.  

About me
My husband and I are keen campers, constantly looking for different beaches and hideaways to explore. I also love to keep fit and active, if I’m not on a soccer or hockey field during my free time you’ll probably find me out in my garden.


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Pablo Fernandez, Relationship Manager

DDI: (09) 921 9390
Mob: 021 523 895
Email: pablo.fernandez@aut.ac.nz

I truly enjoy motivating, encouraging and providing key information to students as they progress to a very exciting stage in their life - university education - while also building strong relationships with key stakeholders, particularly careers advisors and secondary schools. This is a key passion of mine after working in a number of motivational and teaching roles over the years.

Education, sustainable practices in business, and marketing relationships were at the core of my studies and research activities as part of my Master of Business - completed at AUT in 2014. Over that time I was actively involved in academic research and teaching within the Business School, Department of Marketing, Advertising, Retail and Sales. Working with university students for almost 3 years provided me with a strong understanding of the student-experience and their professional expectations. 

Before working in tertiary education I worked as an entrepreneur, as well as a range of relationship marketing roles. These experiences made me aware of the importance of going beyond and aiming to provide an excellent service. I have also been involved with the development of junior tennis players in New Zealand as a tennis coach for over 10 years.

About me
I am originally from Mexico. I travelled to Auckland as an international student and am still here 10 years later. I feel lucky to be where I am, in a place that is vibrant, interesting and full of wonderful people. This year, I will try to win the 2017 Tennis World Masters Games. The event will be held in April at the Albany Tennis Centre, Auckland. 

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Stella Johnston, Relationship Manager

DDI: (09) 921 9999 Ext. 6110
Mob: 021 511 792
Email: stella.johnston@aut.ac.nz

I grew up in Dunedin and studied a double degree programme majoring in economics, international business, and Japanese. My background has helped to bring a wealth of experience in recruitment, marketing, event management, public relations and communications to the Relationship Manager role. 

Most recently, I worked as a placement manager for foreign au pairs in New Zealand. This involved supporting young people (mostly teenagers) from around the world leading up to and during their stay in New Zealand with a host family. Prior to this, I lived and worked in Japan teaching English at a junior high school. Furthermore I also volunteered with the Big Sister programme, mentoring a young person from a disadvantaged background.

These roles provide a strong insight into young people’s lives and their goals, dreams, and obstacles they strive to overcome; and have provided me with the skillbase, knowledge and experience required to be an effective and contributing member of the Future Students Team at AUT. 

About me
My big passion is travelling. I really enjoy exploring new cultures, landscapes, and cuisines; and can't wait to explore more of the world in the future. In our day-to-day life, my partner and I love getting away for camping weekends around beautiful Aotearoa, going hiking, trying out new brunch spots, swimming at the beach, and trying to teach our kitten new tricks. 

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Janet Akeripa, On Campus Relationship Manager

On Campus Relationship Manager (South Campus)
DDI: (09) 921 9327
Email: janet.akeripa@aut.ac.nz

O le ala i le pule o le tautua
The path to leadership is through service.

In order to succeed when working with people and be an effective member of any organisation, one must have a clear understanding of service, this is serving others with passion, dedication and focus. This is a Samoan adage that I use to describe my life and work ethic. 

As an energetic, driven and highly motivated professional with a strong desire to succeed, I enjoy building positive networks with key stakeholders and engaging in working relationships to create positive business results. I have established a comprehensive student academic and pastoral counselling system that provides efficient and effective advice, as well as support and guidance relating to issues impacting immensely on Maori and Pacific students' lives and success.

I completed a Master of Educational Leadership from AUT in 2009, including Te Ao Maori Papers and I am currently completing my Master of Philosophy with a Pasifika Education focus.

About me
I enjoy travelling and last year had the fantastic opportunity to visit four different countries in one trip. Trust me, your education will take you places, so give it 100%. I am also the mother of two young boys and my husband is a teacher. As you can imagine our family have a love of learning which we believe is a real blessing and an opportunity you cannot miss.


Michael Collins, Relationship Manager

DDI: (09) 921 9355
Mob: 021 532 093
Email: michael.collins@aut.ac.nz

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
(Maori proverb)

I enjoy empowering people to reach their goals and be the best that they can. Being able to achieve this with students is something I really enjoy in my role. 

As a graduate of AUT, I can personally endorse the service we provide as it’s an experience I personally believe in. I’ve found AUT to be a truly dynamic learning environment with values that benefit both students and staff.

My background is in communications, having graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies from AUT. In recent years I’ve worked on government community initiatives and for a national not-for-profit youth organisation within communications roles with a strong marketing and stakeholder engagement focus.

About me
I’m a born and bred Kiwi from a family of 4 siblings with a half Samoan mum and full Australian dad. I enjoy travelling, with Camp America being one of the best adventures I’ve ever done. I also enjoy sports and play as many as I can. When I’m not playing or watching sports, I’ll be somewhere trying to strum a guitar tune or discovering new café brunch spots.

Yuval EyalYuval Eyal, Relationship Manager

DDI: (09) 921 9253
Mob: 021 717 698
Email: yuval.eyal@aut.ac.nz

I strive for all students to have an equal opportunity to succeed in life. Being able to assist students in achieving their dreams and goals has always been an aspiration of mine. Through my study experience at AUT, as a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation student, I fell in love with the practicality AUT offered and the relevant work experience I was able to achieve while studying. 

I started my professional journey through the AUT workplace experience as a marketing intern at Eden Park Trust. I progressed from an intern to marketing co-ordinator, having the opportunity to work alongside the All Blacks, Auckland Blues, New Zealand Blackcaps and NRL Auckland Nines. My last job involved working in Sydney for the National Rugby League (NRL) as an account executive for the Vodafone Warriors. I have a passion for sport, however my passion for AUT and drive to help students succeed, drove my desire to work in the AUT Future Students Team. 

About me
I'm originally from Israel, with a Jewish background, and have lived in New Zealand for the last 15 years. I can speak both English and Hebrew and I have loved the diversity AUT embraces and encompasses. I have a huge passion for sport, love watching rugby, cricket and tennis and participate in netball, touch and tennis. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching sports on the weekend, cooking, baking and travelling around the world learning about new cultures. 

Last updated: 21-Mar-2017 1.50pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.