Meet the Team

Theo Ursum


Theo has been the Manager of Volunteering Bay of Plenty since February 2014. He moved to Tauranga in 2012 to take on the role of Operations Manager position at the YMCA Tauranga. In this role he was responsible for the running of the office and lead five departments. He quickly joined the Blue Rovers Football Club as a coach, joined the club’s committee as the Sports Director, and is now the Club President.


Before moving to Tauranga he held the position of Out of School Care and Recreation Manager, YMCA Hawkes Bay, from November 2009 until August 2011. During his role there he was responsible for 16 holiday programmes (hosting up to 350 kids per day) and 7 After School Care centres. Theo also sat on the Volunteering Hawkes Bay Board, helping to develop the organisation’s administrative systems and contribute to its business & strategic plans.

A Dutch native, Theo moved to New Zealand with his wife, Iris, in 2009. Prior to his immigration, he held various positions in several commercial companies, including the Dutch equivalent of Mitre 10. In his spare time, Theo enjoys tackling DIY projects, bike riding (no surprise there – he’s Dutch!) and tramping.

Iris Beemster

Service Coordinator

Iris Beemster is our service coordinator for the Tauranga area and has been with Volunteering Bay of Plenty since September 2013. Iris is the person you are most likely to talk to or meet as she links volunteers with volunteer opportunities at our member organisations. Iris also liaises with our member organisations so that we support them with their volunteer needs and to keep the job database up-to-date. Iris has also completed the Essentials to Volunteer Management through Volunteering New Zealand in April 2015.

Iris grew up in The Netherlands and moved to New Zealand just over five years ago. Before moving here Iris worked in community development and the tourism/hospitality industry both in The Netherlands and abroad. In her spare time Iris enjoys being outdoors as well as baking and cooking.

Barbie Burridge

Service Coordinator

Barbie Burridge is our Regional Service Coordinator and started with Volunteering Bay of Plenty in July 2016. Our regional service is currently focused predominantly in Rotorua and Whakatane but we are currently moving toward exploring opportunities further afield to include Katikati, Edgecumbe, Kawerau communities. Our membership organisations are beginning to grow in the regions.

Barbie grew up in Christchurch and is an official earthquake immigrant to Tauranga as she moved here post-quake in 2012. Barbie has a background in social work in both government organisations and within non for profit entities. Barbie has also completed the Essentials of Volunteer Management through Volunteering New Zealand in April 2015.  In her spare time she enjoys travelling, books and is a sports fan.

Sumana Ghosh


Sumana Ghosh has joined as a Client Service Assistant. She has a strong background in the real estate industry with over 5 years of work experience across varied roles including Executive and Admin Support, Marketing development, Sales Operations Support, Customer Relationship Management, Real Estate Banking Finance, and IT CRM systems data quality maintenance.

She is a Bengali girl from the “City of Joy”-Kolkata in India. She has a Bachelor’s of Hons. in English Literature and an MBA in Human Resource Management and Marketing. She shifted after marriage to New Zealand with her husband Anirban Ghosh who is permanent resident here. Her comprehensive Operations Management and Customer Relationship management skills are easily transferable across multiple job areas in different industry sectors. She attributes her success across challenging job roles to her positive Can-Do Attitude, strong communication skills, ability to build trusted relationships, a keen eye for detail and a quick learning analytical mind. She has successfully handled multimillion dollar housing projects dealing with high net worth clients and institutional investors in the real estate industry. She has volunteered in Multicultural Tauranga Council Inc. as Administrative Assistant and she is also an active newcomer of the coffee morning group. She now volunteers for Volunteering Bay of Plenty doing administration duties.

Jazz Kirk


Jazz and her partner moved up to Tauranga a little over 7 months ago from Hawkes bay where Jazz has a lot of experience working with people in a number of different roles both voluntarily and paid employment.

Jazz became part of our team as our receptionist in February. She is the one who will greet you at the door, on the phone and by email. When Jazz isn’t studying towards her Certificate in Business and working towards her Photography she enjoys going to the gym, playing squash, baking and spending time with family and friends.

Christina Fitzgerald

Office Support

Christina was born in Hamilton, “the town of fog” she says. Christina is the youngest child in a family of 11. Christina lives at home with her mum which she enjoys very much.  

Christina now volunteers her time with Volunteering Bay of Plenty, she helps with keeping our office sparkly clean. On the 5th of December 2016 Christina received an award for completing 500 hours of volunteering. Christina always has a smile on her face and makes the office a fun place to be on a Thursday. She will be starting a work skills course at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in February this will hopefully help Christina gain part-time employment.

Christina has worked with Avalon and also the Salvation Army, she also used to work at the Papamoa Takeaways.  When Christina is not volunteering or learning she loves swimming, playing her electric piano and fishing.

Anna Bailey

Volunteer Coordinator 

Anna Bailey is our Volunteer Coordinator and she joined Volunteer Bay of Plenty in September 2016. She helps to update HR Policies and Procedures and helps organisations with their Volunteer Management Programme. Anna finished her Masters Degree in Human Resorces and also did another HR course in London to swap her knowledge to English language. She is very keen to stay focused in Human Resources and to learn new things.

Anna is from small town Humenne in Slovakia. Along with HR she has been studying Teaching of specialized subjects. After her studies she moved to London to work and learn English. During that time she met a Kiwi man, they got married and decided to move to his home land. Anna is very happy to be in New Zealand as she loves the sea and outdoor activities. She has also become an interpreter in Slovak and Czech language for the BOP area so she can use her native language and help others with their integration to New Zealand.

Rebekha Broom

Events Coordinator

Rebekha is our Events Coordinator. Rebekha joined Volunteer Bay Of Plenty in September 2016. Rebekha helps organise workshops, fundraising events and other events VBOP has throughout the year. Rebekha is also wanting to help other Not for Profit Organisations with their events using the resources and support that VBOP can offer.

Rebekha also helps with our website development and runs the Employer to Volunteer programme. She moved here 3 years ago from Australia.

Rebekha has a lot of experience in event organising and customer service.

Rebekha always has a smile on her face when she is in the office and she is passionate to help others in our community.

Susan Rose Ludbrook


Susan returned to The Bay of Plenty after living in Auckland for twelve years. She is very happy to be back, living close to Papamoa Beach and she is enjoying the wonderful lifestyle the Bay has to offer. She lives with her two children and is very grateful to be just a stone’s throw away from where her parents reside.

Susan is a qualified teacher and has previously managed a digital media company. She has now ventured out on her own, offering a wide range of writing and communication services with her business, Susan Rose Content Services. She is passionate about creating professional and creative content for businesses and loves that she can work from home for a variety of clients both nationally and worldwide.

Susan believes that volunteering for both Volunteer Bay of Plenty and for Sailability Tauranga (she is the Sailor / Membership Coordinator, as well as being on their Committee) is a privilege. Susan loves being able to help support people in her community, and knows that what she gives simply can’t compare with the rewards that she receives back.

Renee Fritchley


Renee Fritchley has worked in a wide range of roles including Dance Teacher, Stewardess, Chalet Host, English Teacher and most recently as Project Coordinator at New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI). At NZKGI, Renee’s role includes event management, communications and project planning. Renee is qualified with a degree in Management Communications from Waikato University majoring in Public Relations and Communications.

Renee joined Volunteer Bay of Plenty as a Volunteer Journalist in Jan 2016, as she has a love for writing and enjoys meeting new people, hearing their stories and being involved within the community.