Christine Sutherland – (Central Otago, Invercargill and Dunedin Tutor)
Christine learnt from an early age the philosophy of Look Good Feel Better’s ‘Lipstick therapy’ – even though the charity was still 30 years in the future! Her terminally ill mother always left the house wearing her lipstick and blusher; gaining strength in the knowledge that by looking as good as she could on the outside, it really did help her feel better from the inside.
Christine was working in the cosmetic industry in Invercargill when she was first introduced to Look Good Feel Better. She volunteered at the workshops, and once again witnessed the effect of what a little makeup could do to bolster confidence and self esteem to so many of the brave woman attending the programme. In time she began tutoring in Southland, Central Otago and Dunedin regions.
“One of the most valuable things about the workshops is when the women realise that they do not have to face the uncertain time alone.”
Christine and her husband live in Invercargill and they have three adult children. She enjoys gardening, photography, reading a good book, collecting recipes and spending time with her extended family.
Di Foote (Napier Tutor)
With her own salon, and almost 30 years hairdressing experience, you can tell Di Foote is passionate about making people look great.
After losing her mum to cancer when she was just 15, Di wanted to find a way of helping women deal with cancer. “I remember a seed being planted in my head when Dad bought a hairpiece. I started fitting men’s hairpieces, and then moved onto women’s wigs for chemotherapy patients after a close friend was diagnosed with cancer”, Di says.
Di was introduced to Look Good Feel Better via Hair Creations in Auckland, and instantly felt a desire to be involved with the charity. It wasn’t long before she was running her own seminars on the range of wigs and turbans available to women going through the trauma of cancer treatment and dealing with hair loss.
Di also became involved with the make-up seminars, and is now the LGFB Hawke’s Bay tutor. Since becoming involved with Look Good Feel Better, Di has herself successfully fought two bouts of cancer.
Gaelene Falconer (Waikato Tutor)
Gaelene Falconer lives with her husband in Cambridge. Since her four children have left home, she has more time to garden, cook, entertain and escape on the occasional snow-skiing trip with friends and family.
Gaelene began as a Look Good Feel Better volunteer 12 years ago. “I was so impressed by how professionally the classes were run, and what was on offer for women who were going through so much in their lives. I became hooked”, says Gaelene.
Six years ago, Gaelene began tutoring in Hamilton and Rotorua, and as the charity’s work grew, so did her region. Her friendly face can now be seen running workshops in Thames, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane and Taupo.
“I love seeing the women gain confidence in how they look from what we teach them. Whether it’s learning to draw back her eyebrows, or a decent foundation that covers the marks on their skin, it helps them achieve a sense of normality again. It really is a joy to make a difference to someone’s day, especially the amazing brave women who attend the workshops.”
Leigh Renai (Wellington and Wairarapa Tutor)
A foundation member of the Look Good Feel Better programme in New Zealand, Leigh began her cosmetics career at David Donald Pharmacy in Wellington. It was here Leigh found her passion for helping others with skincare and make-up. Over the years, Leigh firmly established herself in the cosmetics industry, working for James Smith department stores and Elizabeth Arden.
Since having her children and leaving the world of commercial cosmetics, Leigh has started her own business to design, fit and create both custom and ready-to-wear wigs and hairpieces for people who suffer hair loss from treatment for cancer and other medically related conditions.
“I firmly believe the way we look has much to do with how we feel, and that boosting self-esteem can play a positive and important role in living life to the full, through even the toughest illnesses”, Leigh says.
During her 18 years with Look Good Feel Better, Leigh has worked with patients in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and is now the Wellington and Wairarapa tutor.
Lesley Rees (Auckland Tutor)
Having lost her mother to cancer at the age of 49, and spent many cherished moments doing her make-up for special occasions, Lesley felt an instant connection to the Look Good Feel Better charity.
She remembers looking after an amazing lady during one of her first workshops 13 years ago, who had everyone in stitches with her sense of humour, “She called into my store two years later, and she remembered me. It really gave me a sense of achievement, and brought meaning to the skills I had accumulated over the years”, Lesley says.
Cancer has played a significant part in Lesley’s life. From her mother’s illness, when she was only 15, to the multiple friends and family who have been struck by the disease. As a LGFB volunteer, she has an upper hand to help those affected by cancer. “To see the ladies who attend our workshops blossom over the two and a half hours blows me away”.
As the Hospital Liaison officer for the Auckland area, Lesley is constantly being told by nurses and caregivers how important the work of Look Good Feel Better is to the recovery of their patients “We are definitely talked about at the patient’s next treatment appointment”.
Lorraine Curtis (Auckland Tutor)
Lorraine Curtis was looking for volunteer work 12 years ago, when a friend put her in touch with Look Good Feel Better. At the time, she was working as a make up artist, and had previous hairdressing experience; a perfect match.
“I knew it was for me the first day I started. I love seeing the transformation the ladies go through. They walk through the door, not knowing what to expect and very reserved. By the end however, they are laughing and chatting, and walk out happy and confident, with smiles on their faces”, Lorraine says.
Lorraine thoroughly enjoys her time with LGFB, and values the team around her who help the women take control of some of the side effects they experience from their cancer treatment. “It’s a time when the ladies can put aside the worries of the day, have fun and be pampered whilst learning some new makeup skills. What is more important is sharing the experience with ladies going through the same thing”.
Thankful to be inspired at every workshop, and to have built some special friendships during her time as a volunteer, Lorraine now tutors in Auckland.
Margot Rowling (Nelson and Marlborough Tutor)
Margot Rowling grew up in small town, rural New Zealand, but moved to Wellington in the 1970s to establish a career in the cosmetics industry.
A quote Margot lives her life by is ‘For a parachute to work, it must be open’. Learning new skills and appreciating other ways of looking at things has helped guide her, and respond admirably to the challenges that life has presented her with.
Since retiring from the paid workforce, Margot has had more time on her hands, to pursue interests that had been put on hold for many years. She was asked to become a Look Good Feel Better volunteer after attending a workshop as a support person for a friend, and she leapt at the opportunity.
“By this time, I had returned to painting, which is such a solitary occupation. I thought by becoming a volunteer, I would be able to pass on my knowledge and help others, while at the same time enriching my own life by meeting so many amazing people. The pleasure I have received from helping with these workshops has been astounding, and far more rewarding than I could have ever imagined”, Margot says.
Rachael Lind (New Plymouth Tutor)
Rachael Lind is relatively new to the Look Good Feel Better team, having spent 18 years in the hairdressing industry (10 of which she was a hairdressing tutor), she put her expertise to work as the New Plymouth tutor at the start of 2009.
Rachael has worked as a Professional Firefighter with the New Zealand Fire Service for the past seven year, and also spends time working with children and juveniles that deliberately set fires.
“I love being able to combine two extremely diverse roles, and help people on all levels. The people I work with at New Plymouth Fire Station are very supportive of the work I do with Look Good Feel Better, which enables me to spread the good word about the all the positive work Look Good Feel Better achieves”, Rachael says.
Rachael is continuously enlivened by seeing women at the workshops be inspired and uplifted by the experience. “I am proud to work with Look Good Feel Better. It is a dynamic organisation, delivering a fabulous service to women all over the country”.
Sandy Newcombe (Auckland Tutor)
Sandy Newcombe is the self-acclaimed country gumboot-girl, who commutes from rural Pokeno to Auckland to volunteer and tutor for Look Good Feel Better workshops.
“I was hooked back in 1997, when I was roped into setting up a workshop. I initiated introductions and seated and relaxed the ladies, but then our model caught me by surprise when she whipped off her wig. In theory, I was prepared for this action. In reality, I was humbled by her bravery. That one action cemented my decision to commit to Look Good Feel Better, and I have never looked back”.
When Sandy is not volunteering for Look Good Feel Better, she can be found working in administration and accounts, with a boss who supports her commitment to the LGFB charity.
She also spends a lot of time on the farm at home, feeding and taking care of the animals. “Time is precious, and so are my friends and family. I love to grab my camera and tripod, and then head out somewhere. In a few hours, I can meet friends, grab a hot mocha, and capture some award-winning photos”, Sandy says.
Shirleen Oakley (Christchurch, Timaru and Greymouth Tutor)
Shirleen Oakley was one of the original Look Good Feel Better volunteers in Christchurch when the programme started in 1992. At this time, she was working for Shiseido as a beauty tutor. Having also spent time working for Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder, Shirleen has an impressive history in the cosmetics industry.
Today, Shirleen lives with her husband and their two daughters, and owns a large vegetable growing and distribution company in Southbridge, near Christchurch.
“Since we started conducting workshops in Christchurch, we have expanded into Timaru and the West Coast. I absolutely love my hands on role with the charity. I really enjoy the special relationship we have with the ladies who come through the workshops. It’s a priviledge to help them see their potential, and build their self-esteem during a very difficult time in their lives”.
Having always enjoyed working with make up, Shirleen continues to be involved with weddings, functions, theatre productions, balls and private tuition. In between her passion for make up and work for Look Good Feel Better, Shirleen loves to read, cook, travel, go to the movies, and spend time with her friends and family.
Lesley Drury (Palmerston North Tutor)
Lesley Drury is our most recent member, joining the team in 2008 as a volunteer and then becoming the Workshop Tutor in 2011. Lesley was introduced to LGFB in 2007 when she attended a workshop while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Even though Lesley was working as a Beauty therapist at the time of attending the workshop, she still found the workshop gave her a much needed boost and it inspired her to join the Palmerston North Look Good Feel Better team as a volunteer. Lesley relishes her current role as a Look Good Feel Better Tutor as it allows her to do what she loves as well as give guidance and support to women at a much needed time in their lives.
Lesley is a fully qualified Beauty Therapist who is currently working fulltime as an Administrator at Massey University in Palmerston North. Her employer is very supportive of the volunteer work she does.
Outside of work, Lesley is kept very busy by 8 grandchildren.