Our People

Our Trustees

Jane Wrightson

Chair

Jane Wrightson was appointed as Retirement Commissioner and head of the Commission for Financial Capability in 2020, after a long career in the media industry. She is a former chief executive of public media funder NZ On Air, and was a regulator for the Broadcasting Standards Authority, and screen industry advocacy body SPADA.

Jane also spent the first decade of her career working in various roles at TVNZ. She is a governor of RNZ and a former director of several national sporting and media entities. Jane is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds an MBA with distinction, and a BA in literature.

Rachel Farrant

Trustee

Rachel has been a Business Advisory Partner at BDO Wellington Ltd for over fourteen years. BDO Wellington Ltd is an independent member of the fifth largest international accounting firm. She is also BDO Wellington’s HR Director, with HR responsibility for a firm with 100 staff. In her business advisory capacity, she works with clients in the retail, professional services, not-for-profit, commercial property, health and government sectors. She is a director of Fulton Hogan Ltd and member of its Audit Committee. She is also a director and the Chair of the Audit Committee of Korida Group Limited. She is also Chair of the Central Region General Practitioners Fees Review Committee. Rachel is a member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Peter Johnston

Trustee

Peter is Chair of Partners at Rainey Collins Lawyers and heads their Maori Legal Issues team.

His other current roles include Chair of the NZ Riding for the Disabled Association Perpetual Members Trust, Trustee of the Henwood Trust, Board Member of the NZ Riding for the Disabled Association and Advisory Trustee to a Maori land block. Peter is also an external Specialist Advisor and Legal Aid Auditor to the Ministry of Justice.

Of Ngati Porou descent Peter is a former Chairman of Te Awe Wellington Maori Business Network. In this role he worked closely with regional and national business networks.

Diane Calvert

Trustee

Diane was elected for the first time to Wellington City Council (Onslow-Western ward) in 2016 and joined the Experience Wellington Board in November 2016. Diane comes with extensive leadership experience across the NZ public and private sectors from roles that have focused on operational, people and change management. These roles have spanned areas such as insolvency management, client services delivery through to health and safety reform.  For the past four years Diane has sat on the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation which has recently merged with New Zealand Organisation for Quality Inc (NZOQ). Diane has also been recently appointed to the Board of NZOQ Inc.

Peter Jackson

Trustee

Peter is a cultural consultant of Te Atiawa and Taranaki Iwi descent. He helps organisations to fulfil their Treaty of Waitangi obligations. He has a Bachelor of Commerce & Administration from Victoria University of Wellington. A background in IT, property investment and small business ownership has provided him with a solid understanding of the mechanics of organisational success. Peter is a director on a number of iwi and community boards which include the Wellington Tenths Trust, Adult Community Education Aotearoa and Early Childhood New Zealand.

Senior Management

Dr Sarah Rusholme

Chief Executive

After gaining her PhD, Dr Sarah Rusholme left the lab for an MSc in science communication and in 1998 joined the UK’s National Space Centre start-up team, leaving eight years later as their Director of Education and Exhibitions.

Since arriving in New Zealand, Sarah has worked for the Marsden Fund at the Royal Society of New Zealand. She led the feasibility study for NZ’s Science Media Centre and became the Director of Carter Observatory in 2007, joining Experience Wellington in 2010.

In her role as Head of Strategic Development Sarah was responsible for Experience Wellington’s strategic planning, cross-organisation research initiatives, and projects that connect institutions across the organisation and city. In October 2016 Sarah moved into the role as Director Children & Young People, leading the Capital E team.  Creativity is a huge part of Capital E, and initiatives such as children’s theatre, digital offerings and the National Arts Festival for Children grew significantly under Sarah’s leadership.

In June 2020 Sarah was appointed Experience Wellington’s next Chief Executive.

James Unwin

Finance Manager

James is a Chartered Accountant (FCA – ICAEW, CA – NZICA) and a member of the Finance and Management Faculty of the English Institute. He joined Experience Wellington in January 2016 and brings an extensive professional background in senior finance related roles with Deloittes, Ernst & Young (now EY) and Westpac Banking Corporation. James recently moved back to Wellington after several years in Hawkes Bay and Palmerston North where he was Chief Finance Officer for an innovative apple exporting company and previously, a chemical pump manufacturer.

Brett Mason

Director Museums Wellington

Brett joined Experience Wellington in 2001, as the Marketing Manager for both the Wellington Museum and Capital E. Brett became Director of Wellington Museum, then known as the Museum of Wellington City & Sea in 2006. Museums Wellington was set up in 2008, to manage the Wellington Museum, the Cable Car Museum and Nairn Street Cottage. Space Place at Carter Observatory became part of the group under Brett’s directorship in 2013. Brett is a Getty Leadership Institute graduate and a recipient of a Minister’s Discretionary Grant which allowed him to visit over 30 museums across the UK, Europe and in Los Angeles. Brett is a past Board Member of Museums Aotearoa and a Teaching Associate for the Museum & Heritage Studies Programme at Victoria University.

Elizabeth Caldwell

Director City Gallery Wellington

Elizabeth Caldwell has been working in the NZ visual arts sector for more than 25 years. Professional roles prior to her present position as Director at the City Gallery Wellington include Director at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Senior Curator Visual Art and Collection Services at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Arts Adviser for Visual Art and Craft/Object Art at Creative New Zealand and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery (now Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu). Her academic qualifications include an MA (Hons.) in Art History from the University of Canterbury, Diploma of Secondary Teaching (Christchurch College of Education) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Curatorial Studies (University of Melbourne).

Justine McLisky

Head of Children and Young People

Justine is a highly experienced learning and engagement professional, with over 25 years’ experience in cultural institutions around the world. Justine has worked with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, National Portrait Gallery in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Justine also worked with our own City Gallery team in her early career as an Education Coordinator.

Justine is committed to working strategically to develop and deliver inspiring programmes that engage diverse audiences in arts and culture, with a special focus on young audiences and raising the profile of the benefits of creativity. She brings a wealth of leadership, management experience and stakeholder engagement.

Justine is looking forward to reconnecting with past colleagues, forging new networks, and ensuring that Experience Wellington is a key part of making the capital the best place to grow up in Aotearoa.

Carolyn Mettrick

Head of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications

Carolyn is a proud Wellingtonian who joined Experience Wellington in November 2019 .  She has a strong background in fundraising, marketing and business development and is a firm believer that relationships are everything.

 Carolyn is no stranger to the not-for-profit sector. In 2012 she joined Plunket as National Fundraising Manager and moved into the role of Head of Fundraising, Partnerships and Brand. Carolyn developed a diverse funding portfolio and established successful partnerships with some of New Zealand’s best well known organisations.

 Prior to working at Plunket Carolyn worked in the private sector and spent a number of years at Loyalty New Zealand (Fly Buys).  She is strategic, thinks big and is results driven. Carolyn is an empathetic leader and her strengths lie in relationship management. A collaborator and connector, Carolyn is committed to championing the cultural assets Experience Wellington has on offer.

Louise Saviker

Head of Operations

Louise has a background in private sector and community organisations where she has held general management, marketing, customer service and human resource roles.  Her entire career has been in membership and customer service focused organisations.  Louise has a Masters of Human Resources and Organisational Development from Southern Cross University, Australia.   

Louise is passionate about building planned and systematic approaches to improving organisational effectiveness, primarily through people, services and systems.  She is committed to creating diverse, healthy and safe working environments.

Jo Arenhold

Executive Advisor

Jo is a natural organiser with strong attention to detail, a strategic thinker and a trusted advisor. She enjoys writing and editing documents, and has a strong interest in communications and public relations.

Jo has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English & Media Studies, as well as a Certificate of Performing Arts. Her background combines an interesting mix of the corporate with the creative. She has worked in senior executive support roles for CEO’s, Boards, General Managers, and Managing Editors, and in technical production and event management roles across Wellington, London, and Dublin. Some of the organisations she has worked for include Presbyterian Support, Multi-Media Systems, Daily Mail, Freud Communications, and Tourism New Zealand.

Jo enjoys bringing people together, finding logical solutions, and is thrilled to be working in a creative environment again!