• Matthew Lawrence

    Matthew Lawrence

    NZATS Chairperson

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  • Cathy Hepworth

    Cathy Hepworth

    NZATS Secretary

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  • Nicola Smith-Guerin

    Nicola Smith-Guerin

    Registration Examination Coordinator

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  • Leanne Morrison

    Leanne Morrison

    NZATS Treasurer

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  • Katrina Walsh

    Katrina Walsh

    NZATS AUT Liaison Officer

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  • Katrina Prosser

    Katrina Prosser

    NZATS Communications Officer

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  • Gary Salisbury

    Gary Salisbury

    Registration Exam Co-ordinator

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  • Breanne London

    Breanne London

    NZATS CPD Officer

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Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence

NZATS Chairperson

Matthew Lawrence is the Charge Anaesthetic technician at Whangarei Base Hospital, Northland DHB.
He started his career over 20 years ago at Middlemore hospital, before moving to Mercy Hospital where he finished his training in anaesthetic technology through what was AIT. After a few years at Mercy he went to the UK and spent four years working around the UK on a few agency contracts. Did a lot of travelling as well!

Back to NZ and girlfriend in tow (now wife), worked again at Middlemore for a short stint. Matt then took up a position at Auckland DHB, staying there for 14years, where in this period joined the Liver transplant team and gained more experience in the radiology suite, especially with clot retrievals and endovascular work. In the last 3 years he has been up at Northland, becoming the Charge tech a few years ago.

Matthew has done a lot of work behind the scenes for NZATS and this profession. He has organised two NZATS conferences, a couple of Waiheke island symposiums, the Whangarei symposium and was instrumental in helping start the Obex Airway Day that has been running successfully for the last 7 or so years. Of late he has started an ultrasound half day course and will be looking to run this just as successfully as all the other courses.

He has been a national registration examiner for the past 18 years, retiring just recently. Also, he has been on the NZATS executive committee as the treasurer of the society. Within this role Matt set up a fund for educational activities, strengthened the accounts for educational days and conferences.
He highly recommends joining NZATS.

Cathy Hepworth

Cathy Hepworth

NZATS Secretary

Cathy is the NZATS Secretary and a Registration Examiner.
She is Charge Anaesthetic Technician at Canterbury District Health Board, which covers Waipapa Hospital, Christchurch hospital, Christchurch Women’s hospital, Burwood hospital and Hillmorten.
She is a strong advocate for our profession, and very passionate about our role and its people – patients and staff.
Her favourite quote is ‘Give more than you take If you want to feel happy – do something for yourself. If you want to feel fulfilled do something for someone else.’ – Simon Sinek

Nicola Smith-Guerin

Nicola Smith-Guerin

Registration Examination Coordinator

Nicola is the Professional Leader for Anaesthetic Technicians, ADHB.
She has been an Anaesthetic Technician for a very long time; some of you would not have been born when she qualified! Over that time she has been an educator, and a charge tech at ADHB for 23 years before moving into her current role.

She has been heavily involved in NZATS for decades and been responsible for the registration exams since 2007.
When describing herself Nicola would say she is warm, friendly and cheerful. She values personal connections and cares about people’s needs, and finds herself wanting to do her best for everyone she meets, including patients, staff and her family.

Leanne Morrison

Leanne Morrison

NZATS Treasurer

Leanne is an Account manager at Pharmaco NZ, Medical and Emergency.

Her early beginnings in health started when her mother enrolled her in St Johns Cadets, basically to get her over her apparent fear of bandages, plasters and anything squeamish! She did her Comprehensive Nursing training at Wellington Polytechnic and has a Diploma in Nursing, spent a few years rotating through Paeds, Rheumatology/Medical then General Surgical before taking the plunge and going to that scary place called the Operating Theatre. Leanne did a one year Theatre course run at Wellington Hospital, which had an Anaesthetic component. She spent years in the scrub/circulate/PACU/Co-ordinate role mainly on either 1630 or 1830 until 2300, until she decided to brave up and start the AUT Certificate in Anaesthetic Technology Training. She has loved every minute of her job since then. She decided to also become an NZRC CORE advanced instructor.
Last year a job opportunity came up with Pharmaco NZ, totally different but still maintaining her Tech/nurse Resus interest.

We care for our patients at their most vulnerable and we are privileged to provide this care. We have the shortest time to build a rapport with our patients and gain their trust for the time that they are in our care. We have the chance to make their Perioperative experience hopefully less stressful. We make a difference in the Perioperative journey for every single one of the patients in our care. Holding the hand of a patient undergoing cataract surgery who is terrified is as equally important as setting up and assisting in the Anaesthetic for a major case. This follows through to her current role: Pharmaco’s value is “From the Heart”.

Leanne joined the NZATS Exec committee because she believes in giving something back. She was a Regional rep for 6 years before deciding to join the Exec team. Her philosophy in life is she believes that everything happens for a reason, it may just not always be clear. Never judge someone without knowing their story, you haven’t walked in their shoes. Treat every patient at work with the dignity and respect they deserve, care and compassion regardless of their identity.

In her spare time, Leanne enjoys exercise and Spin/Spin sprint and walking…often up hills. She enjoys her fitness being challenged. She has decided to take the challenge of completing her SCUBA Open water PADI course a couple of years ago and although she doesn’t get out as much as she would like, it is unbelievable. Leanne also loves baking, and her most recent specialty is Chelsea Winter Ginger Kisses. She took up knitting again during lockdown, and dabbles in sewing. She also loves any time spent with her 2 daughters who she is incredibly proud of.

Katrina Walsh

Katrina Walsh

NZATS AUT Liaison Officer

Katrina works at Waitemata DHB and has been there for 7 years. Previously, she was at St George’s Hospital in Christchurch for 11 years.

Her career in the operating room started as a Registered Nurse at Burwood Hospital, so Orthopaedics was her specialty. During her nursing training, which she did in Australia, Katrina had a placement in theatre and immediately decided that was the area she wanted to work in. She was particularly interested in Anaesthetics but on returning to NZ in 1999, she found out that there was such a thing as an Anaesthetic Technician. She completed her Diploma in Anaesthetic Technology in 2007, sat the very first ‘registration’ exam and hasn’t looked back.

Her favourite thing about her work is the variety, especially at her workplace. One day she’ll be in theatre, maybe ‘having a baby’ in the Obstetric theatre, or working in one of her favourite specialties, ENT. The next she might be rostered on to be part of the Resus team, attending emergencies all around the hospital, including ED. She also has an extended scope of practice, so usually does a list of PICC insertions once or twice a week.

Outside of work, Katrina loves to be creative. Projects on the go at the moment are knitting washcloths, making macrame plant hangers (her mother taught her how to do this way back in the 70’s), and producing solid shampoo and conditioner bars (reduction of packaging and waste is a bit of a theme at the moment).

Katrina’s philosophy is she cares for her patients as she would like her family members to be looked after. Simple, but effective.

Katrina Prosser

Katrina Prosser

NZATS Communications Officer

Katrina Prosser is one of the Anaesthetic Technician Educators based at Auckland City Hospital, specifically Level 8 Operating Rooms – the primary location for Adult Acute and Trauma Surgery.

Having completed technician training in 2011, she has been involved in various aspects of teaching over the years, from preceptorship inhouse, AUT marking, and more recently as part of the NZATS Examiner team.

The primary focus of her teaching at ADHB is for fellow registered members of staff and orientating newly registered staff to the expectations of being an independent practitioner. Katrina has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education in 2022 in her spare time.
In the 11+ years of being a qualified and then registered anaesthetic technician, Katrina has been a member of the Liver Transplant team at times alongside Matthew, helping improve the quality of life for over 100 recipients and counting.

As the NZATS Communications Officer, she has updated the look of the NZATS Newsletter and tried to gain regular submissions for readers to keep up to date with what affiliated groups are doing and how they might impact our members. She also answers questions from the community who are interested in joining our wonderful profession, managing the Facebook page, and slowly introducing the use of Instagram with the potential for Twitter and other social media. Katrina also maintains and updates the NZATS website and its resources.

Outside of work, Katrina spends her days looking after her two children, one husband and three cats, playing video games and all those normal household activities. A bit of a nerd, she enjoys doing puzzles of most types (jigsaws, Wordle and similar) and building (LEGO, shelves etc).

Gary Salisbury

Gary Salisbury

Registration Exam Co-ordinator

Gary is the Clinical Training Co-ordinator for Anaesthetic Technicians at Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals.

Unlike many of the profession, Gary entered it from an outside role as a Merchant Navy Officer. With a background of being a London-trained ODA of many years, he moved to New Zealand after meeting his wife in Dubai. Having an interest in education, he was heavily involved in renewing Tauranga Hospital’s License to teach trainee Anaesthetic Technicians. He has been involved in education for over twenty years and finds it inspiring to lead and learn from tomorrow’s techs. Gary fully believes in the need for a forward-looking organisation (NZATS) as a guide, advocate, and sounding board for the profession, and feels honoured to be on the executive board.
As a profession, anaesthetic techs are undermanned and, in many ways, under-valued. With the growing demands of the health provision sector, it has become obvious that there is a rapidly expanding need for our services, and the growth of the profession with the new BSc in health sciences is a way forward. Gary have great hopes for the future and helping to shape this going forward.
As with all the members of the executive committee, he is heavily invested with his growing family, especially having two grandchildren in Hamilton. He enjoys travelling around and learning about his island home and exploring both New Zealand and its Pacific neighbours. Of course, with the heady amount of spare time that he has, he also fancies himself as a keen Liverpool supporter, motorcyclist and scuba Diver.

Breanne London

Breanne London

NZATS CPD Officer

Breanne currently works at Auckland City Hospital, where she splits her time between Level 8 and Starship Hospital operating rooms. Level 8 is adult acutes and trauma, and Starship is the leading hospital in New Zealand for paediatric emergencies.

Breanne completed her anaesthetic technician training in 2020, and started casual lecturing at AUT this year with the degree programme being rolled out. She has a degree in Medical Laboratory Science, where she specialised in haematology and chemistry, which she feels she utilises daily when reading blood gas reports and TEGs.

In her downtime, she is completing a post graduate study in paediatric emergencies, with the hope of expanding her own knowledge in paediatric medicine.
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and shopping up a storm.