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About Us

Fragile X New Zealand is a parent-led, charitable organization that has three primary aims:

  • to raise awareness about fragile X within New Zealand
  • to assist individuals affected by fragile X to reach their full potential
  • to support New Zealand families living with fragile X

Fragile X New Zealand:

  • coordinates a national support network
  • provides up to date and evidence based information and advice about fragile X and fragile X associated disorders
  • runs local workshops and national conferences
  • maintains a library of useful books and audio-visual material
  • maintains regular contact with a global network of families, researchers & clinicians who are working to understand, treat, manage and eventually find a cure for fragile X
  • facilitates fragile X education workshops in schools nationwide
  • coordinates regular fragile X clinical forums with neuro-development paediatrician Dr Andrew Marshall

Click here for more information on current and past activities.

Board of trustees

Fragile X New Zealand was established in 2000 and is currently administered by the following board.

Chris Hollis, PhD – Chairperson

Chris HollisChris is a research scientist at GNS Science, a Crown Research Institute, based in Wellington. In his 20 year career, he has led research in climate change and geological resources, won three research grants from the prestigious Marsden Fund, and initiated science outreach projects with iwi groups, school children, and youth with learning disabilities.

Chris has been a FXNZ board member since 2006, and prior to that was national coordinator and Wellington regional coordinator. He is married to Anita Nicholls, past chairperson of FXNZ, who is now Wairarapa coordinator for Autism New Zealand. They have two adult sons with fragile X. Chris and Anita were instrumental in developing many of the organisation’s core initiatives, including the “No Longer Fragile” schools programme, the Fragile X Clinical Forum, in conjunction with Andrew Marshall, and the beginnings of the now highly popular national family gatherings.

Louise Smith – Treasurer

Louise SmithLouise is a Chartered Accountant at Fonterra with 8 years accounting experience. Her background is in corporate accounting having worked on large investment projects for both Stainless and IS Deployment. Louise has developed and built a service offering internally within the company for Project Accounting and developed guidelines published for companywide implementation. She has completed Statutory and Monthly Financial reporting for entities and Business Units.

Louise also a mother of two children one with Fragile X syndrome and is a carrier herself. She is driven to strengthening and expanding the services that FXNZ provides to the community as more families receive a diagnosis of fragile X and demand grows.

Jude Pani – Secretary

Jude PaniFollowing a career in local government, Jude is now Executive Officer of Te Tatau o Te Arawa Charitable Trust. This is the Te Arawa partnership with the Rotorua Lakes Council. Jude is also Rotorua Catchments Advisor to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

New to the Fragile X community Jude was diagnosed with Premutation Fragile X in 2017, her daughter Kiri also has Premutation Fragile X and both Kiri’s daughters have Full Mutation Fragile X syndrome. It is now about how she can help her daughter and mokos live a full and happy life with Fragile X and also how she can reach out to others in the Fragile X community. Attending the July 2018 FX International Conference in Cincinnati was a significant learning opportunity for Jude and Kiri. It was an experience that is thoroughly recommended.

She is excited to be part of the Fragile X community in New Zealand and looks forward to the opportunity to contribute as a member of the FXNZ Trust.

Lance Norman, BCom, DipCom – Trustee

Lance NormanLance is CEO of Hapai Hauora Tapui (Maori Public Health). He has held a number of roles previously including Senior Advisor at the National Urban Maori Authority; Director of Funding, Contracting at Te Wahanu o Waipareira and Hoani Waititi Marae; CEO for Waiora PHO; and Deputy CEO for the Waitemata Primary Health Organisation. He has previously worked as a Senior Auditor for one of the largest auditing companies in New Zealand, as a Financial Controller for a multi-national corporate and has been a Business Manager in a number of capacities. Lance is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Lance is married to Patricia and they have four children. In 2010 they received a diagnosis of fragile X for their youngest child, which led to the cascade testing of all their children. As a result all four of the Norman children were diagnosed with fragile X.

Lance has been a FXNZ board member since 2012. He has a strong personal commitment to creating a positive future for people affected by fragile X.

Senorita Laukau Med – Trustee

Senorita Laukau MedSenorita migrated to NZ from Tonga in 1988. She spent her childhood years in Niue and speaks Niuean, Tongan and English. Senorita was the recipient of two scholarships at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji and has a Masters in Education from Victoria University. She currently works as an Advisor at the Tertiary Education Commission. Senorita has been a FXNZ Board member since 2007.

Senorita cites her mother, who was widowed when Senorita was just 13, as the most influential person in her life. Her mother’s struggles inspired her to make something of her life, to support her family and be what her father would have wanted her to be.

Senorita is married to Aisea and they have seven children (three of them adopted). Their adult son ‘Ofa was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome when he was 3.

Bronwyn Markey, BHSc in Nursing – Trustee

Bronwyn MarkeyBronwyn has worked as a registered nurse for 19 years in New Zealand, Australia and England. For the last 15 years she has specialised in haematology nursing and currently works in a day clinic administrating chemotherapy to both oncology and haematology patients.

Bronwyn is the mother of two young boys with full mutation Fragile X syndrome. She discovered her premutation Fragile X status after the diagnosis of her boys.

Bronwyn’s focus in her work as a FXNZ board member is to increase awareness of Fragile X amongst the medical, education and social services.

Raymond Dickinson – Trustee

Raymond DickinsonRaymond is currently the Sales Director and Business Director at GKC Ltd. He has over 20 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry in a variety of roles including technical, sales, and management. He has been involved in all aspects of business including strategy, go-to-market, execution of sales, new products, professional services, marketing, operations, finance and human resources.

Raymond and his wife Angela have three children, two with full mutation Fragile X syndrome. He understands the significance a diagnosis of fragile X can have for an extended family network and is driven to improve outcomes for individual, families and the community affected by Fragile X.

Raymond is focused on increasing the level of support for children with Fragile X and importantly their parents. He believes the more we can support and educate parents and families the better prepared they are to support their amazing children.

Trust deed

Read our trust deed (pdf).