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About us

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We are here for people with disability, aged adults, whãnau, and the Canterbury community.

Serving the Canterbury community since 1982, Aspire provides free disability information and advice, and access to resources that enable disabled people, and people with impairments to live their best life.

Our Vision

Our vision

To enable people with a disability or impairments, to live their best life with freedom and independence, while enhancing mana and maintaining connections with whanau and their community.

Live the life you aspire to

Our purpose

Provide trusted information, products, and associated services to people with disabilities and impairments, their whānau and professionals within health and other related services. We remove barriers and enable people to live the life they aspire to.

Meet our team

  • Julie Paalvast Picture e1578955388140 600x0 c default

    Julie Paalvast

    General Manager

    Married with a young boy, Julie is originally from England and has been living in Christchurch since 2009. Julie had her hip replaced in 2013 and was first attracted to Aspire to assist people with mobility challenges - since starting she has been incredibly inspired by peoples life stories and the difference an organisation can make. Coming from a corporate company background, this is Julies first experience of working within the charitable sector and one she is enjoying!

  • Mel cropped

    Mel Frazer

    Information and Community Coordinator

    Mel was born in Christchurch. Married with 2 children, she lives on a lifestyle block with cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and a dog. In her spare time, you can find her on her lifestyle block, out boating and spending time with friends and family. Mel’s background includes being a carer for a disabled lady, retail and reception. Mel's ability to truly listen to people and understand their barriers means Mel gets awesome results for people by providing information and in-depth knowledge of our mobility range. Mel's grounded approach is a calming influence.

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    Elaine Moon

    Information and Community Coordinator

    Elaine was born in Canterbury. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, rockhounding, walking, gardening and going to the gym. Elaine understands the importance of people being able to access their community, ensuring they live an active life for physical and mental well-being. Elaine is helpful and giving of information to ensure you get a good result.

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    Amy Coët

    Information and Community Coordinator

    Currently studying towards a master's in psychology, Amy is also a Mum of 2 fun filled and active children, a wife, and a caring and dedicated hard worker. With a passion for enabling people to live their good life, Amy is a solution focused thinker with a pragmatic approach.

  • Marion Coburn

    Awesome Volunteer

  • Rachel Powell

    Awesome Volunteer

  • Jamie


    Awesome Volunteer

    Jamie has been a true inspiration, with cerebral palsy, he has been wheeling round town since high school. A proud Cantabrian, Jamie supports the Crusaders, enjoys swimming, karaoke and, to use his own words, is “a gun” at Ten Pin Bowling. A positive, thoughtful and caring person, we love his spirit! Thank you for inspiring us everyday Jamie.

Our board

  • Simon Wing


  • Martin Zelas

    Vice Chair

  • David Meates


  • Hamish Taylor


  • Teresa Hoult


  • Stephanie Emery



Got a question?

Get in touch and we will point you in the right direction.