Board of Trustees

Damian Velluppillai- Board Chair

Kia ora! I live in the Brook with my wife Rebecca, and our four children.  Our oldest three, Caleb, Alyssa and Joel, are in years 6, 4 and 2 at Central.  Joshua has just turned four. 

Our family are proud to be part of the NCS community; so many great people and such a positive environment for our children to learn and grow in.  Outside of the NCS board, I am a civil engineer, a board member at Unite Church and in my spare time enjoy a bit of tennis and cycling/running our local trails. I have been on the board of trustees as a parent trustee since 2016.

In my years with Central to date, I have genuinely been blown away by the quality and passion of our teaching and management staff, and also by the close-knit whānau and neighbourhood community.  I look forward to supporting both as we invest ourselves in educating and equipping the next generation.  Ka kite!


Ian Challenger

I joined the board as a parent representative in 2013, when all three of my children attended Nelson Central School. These days, with Jay and Abby both at high school, Eva is the sole representative of the Challenger clad at Central School. When not on board duties, I follow my belief in the power of locally produced food as a way to attain a sustainable future by growing and selling microgreens at the Nelson Farmers Market and to local residents. Nelson Central is a great school with a wonderful committed staff, a supportive community and a great environment and I am pleased and excited to support this by being on the board of trustees, and to be working with a group of dedicated people who all wants to make a positive contribution to the school.

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Sarah Sharp

Kia ora, I am passionate about inspiring our tamariki to love learning, embrace diversity and helping them to become engaged citizens. I am currently the Director of several companies, have a background in education research, and sit on several Boards including two Charitable Trusts in Education and the Arts. My three children have attended Nelson Central School and my youngest, Paloma, is in year 2 in Te Pouahi. I love being a member of the awesome Nelson Central School community and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside a great Board & Tumuaki.


Iain Sheves

Scottish by birth, Iain arrived in New Zealand in 2010 along with wife Robyn and Daisy (Rm 5A), with Ellie (Rm R3) being born a Kiwi in 2014.  The whole family are now NZ citizens.  Iain works in Nelson for Wakatu Incorporation as Group GM - Property & Commercial.

Iain says “I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and rewards that being on the Board brings. It has been a steep learning curve but I relish the chance to contribute to the School Community.”


Sophie Bisdee

Kia ora. Our family moved to Nelson from Otaki in 2010, we have three children two of whom are currently at Central and one to start in 2020. My background is in Public Health. I like to keep my whole life on Nile Street - where we live , where the school is and where I work at NMIT! When not on Nile Street the Bisdee/Allen clan can be found paddling, biking and adventuring around our gorgeous surroundings. I am excited to join the Board of Trustees in 2019 and look forward to the challenges of ensuring our tamariki have the best possible learning experience and support our wonderful kaiako.


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