Our MATES Team 2021 bids a fond farewell to Sonya Masoe



This year MATES has a whole new team ready and keen to start work for 2021.

We have sadly bid farewell to Sonya Masoe as MATES Programme Manager but she has handed the baton on to long-time colleague, Connor Bourne, who has been with MATES since 2015.

Our new team are all experienced MATES mentors and are passionate about helping release the potential in young people through mentoring.



ConnorConnor Bourne, MATES Programme Manager

Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Post Graduate Diploma (Counselling)

Connor began at MATES back in 2015 as a mentor through Education 200 at Auckland University. He has been a coordinator with MATES Junior for the past four years, seeing the introduction of Finlayson Park School and Mangere East Primary to the programme.

MATES was the first place Connor found he could give back to the community and affect change in people’s lives through empowerment and education.

Connor says, “I continue supporting and empowering new mentors to be the best champions they can be for our young people.”

He is excited to lead MATES into 2021.


Coordinator Team 2021


Hester Acharya, MATES Junior

Studying: Fine Arts and History

“I joined MATES as a mentor because I felt it was a great way to continue to develop my passion for teaching and childcare. Through MATES I have discovered a passion for uplifting, empowering, and guiding children and youth.”





Jessica Vea, MATES Junior

Studying: Postgraduate degree, Creative Technologies

“Through my studies I aim to encourage more of our Pacific communities to take on opportunities to pave a way for more Pacific representation in the STEM industry… Last year we had to adapt to online learning and for many it wasn’t easy. This year, I hope that regardless of where our students are, we will be able to fulfil the purpose of the MATES programme to its greatest potential.”




Saane Mafi, MATES Senior

Studying: Postgraduate degree, Health Sciences

Saane says: “MATES mentors help create safe spaces for young people to succeed and grow. As a coordinator I hope to maintain the provision of these safe spaces to enable young people to flourish, as well as support the mentors through their journey this year.”




Anneliese Mitchell, MATES Senior

Studying: Masters in Disaster Management

“I love working with young people and have always been interested in youth engagement. I became a Coordinator because I believe MATES is an incredibly important programme and provides so much for our mentees.”



Is mentoring for you?

We are looking for reliable, committed mentors who genuinely want to see young people succeed and develop to join our team for 2021