The Board

Trish Baars


Trish was born and raised in South Africa. Trish has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was a member of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants as an Associate General Accountant.

In 2009, having been a single, working mother for 18 years, Trish took a year out of life for herself and went backpacking around the world.  It was during that year that she met a Kiwi, fell in love and decided to move to New Zealand to be with him.

Trish arrived in Christchurch in January 2011 and endured the earthquakes for 3 years before relocating to Tauranga.  Whilst in Christchurch, Trish volunteered as the Treasurer for the Exchange Branch of the NZ Stamp Collectors’ Club, and as the Treasurer for the Edgeware Christian Spiritualist Church. Trish is now a self-employed contractor with a small but diverse client base for whom I perform bookkeeping and administration services, including payroll administration, report preparation, GST returns, and other similar duties.

Trish’s favourite activities are laughing and the regular weekly meetings of her Laughter Yoga group are what go a long way to keeping her sane and happy.

Monique Edlinger


Monique’s decision to move to the sunny bay in January 2014 was instigated when her eldest daughter decided to study at Otago University.

She moved here with her younger daughter and became a volunteer with Tauranga Youth Search and Rescue as her daughter was attending their programme.

She is a people and community-focused person and most of her roles have been in the community sector, either through employment or volunteering. Monique has joined the board at Volunteer Bay of Plenty as she believes strongly in social responsibility and believes that through collaboration more can be achieved that will have a positive impact on our community. Monique is a member of Sunrise Rotary, a Trustee of 4Good Charitable Trust and a member of the Smart Growth Social Sector Forum.

Working with people is her passion, she is a self employed Project Manager and loves the variety offered in this role. Her interests involve learning new skills, various social, physical and outdoor activities, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Kelly Seymour


Kelly moved to the Bay of Plenty 18 months ago to take up a position at a Post Harvest Facility in the Kiwifruit industry.  Originally from Christchurch and Hanmer Springs she settled in Auckland in her early 20’s.  Kelly worked approximately 12 years working in law firms in Auckland as a personal assistant in family law, litigation and corporate law.  She obtained a Bachelor of Business at AUT majoring in Accounting and Information Technology.  Kelly worked as an Accountant for a variety of privately held and publicly listed companies before relocating to the Bay of Plenty.  She has always believed in giving back to the community and has been involved in clubs and organisations in both an official and non-official basis.  Kelly hopes to become more involved with her new community through her involvement with Volunteering Bay of Plenty.

Helen Gould


Helen is originally from England where she grew up and attended university. In late 1994 Helen came out to New Zealand to visit family and never left! The environment, standard of living and relaxed lifestyle were a marked contrast to a hectic life as a young professional in London.
Helen’s professional background is in communications and on arrival to New Zealand she took on a role as Communications Manager for the Association of Polytechnics of NZ based in Wellington. After five years in Wellington and now with two small children, Helen made the decision to move to the sunny Bay of Plenty, first settling in Omokoroa and, after ten years there (and now with three children), she moved to Tauranga.
Helen has held a variety of communications and writing and editing roles since moving to the Bay and throughout her time here has been a volunteer in many capacities including being Chair of a school Board of Trustees, coach and manager of various sports teams, a reading volunteer and briefly as a Victim Support worker.
 Most recently, Helen completed an LLB(Hons) with first class honours and was admitted to bar to practice law in July 2017.
A firm believer in the benefits of volunteering, Helen sees it very much as an essential and integral element of a  successful community. Helen hopes to bring her skills as a communicator and her analytical mind to the role of Trustee and is keen to encourage young people to get involved in volunteering. It is important for people of all ages to recognise that being part of society means that we think of others as well as ourselves. An organisation such as Volunteering Bay of Plenty has the ability to show young people that volunteering can bring benefits both to them as a volunteer and to the community which they are part of.