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.

Sonny Alesana

My passion for lifting achievement for Māori, pasifika and the rest of our students is the reason I have returned to the Nelson Central School Board. My first time on the board in 1992 was an eye opening experience and an exciting time for parents, students and community as education went through changes that culminated with the introduction of “Tomorrows School”.

My two children were students at Nelson Central in the 90’s with one of them returning as a current member of the teaching staff. My grandson is in his final year at Nelson Central.

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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.”


Amy Johnson- Staff Representative

Kia Ora, 
Ko Amy toku ingoa and I am a teacher working within the Totara syndicate. I am delighted to sit on the board as the staff representative. I have the added privilege of being a parent to Arthur, who is in Year 3 and Hamish who is a new entrant at Nelson Central School.  I love working with such a dedicated and vibrant team of staff and I am proud to be part of a team that values the holistic wellbeing and development of both staff and students. I look forward to working with the board to continue to support our positive learning community to thrive. 



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