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About Us

KTL began as The Nutters Club in 2010 but transformed into The Key to Life Charitable Trust in 2012.  The focus for Mike King shifted to helping young people, and travels the country all year round sharing his journey of being a kid with low self-esteem, shifting into addiction and depression.

Through open conversation with young people and their communities, Mike and the team work to normalise what is deemed 'abnormal' by current societal standards.

By working seamlessly with mental health professionals, service providers, business leaders, and our communities we believe it is possible to reverse the population trends of depression and suicide by effecting a positive social change.

The work of the Key to Life Charitable Trust is undertaken with respect, dignity and acceptance for all those seeking guidance, advice and support from the organisation. We respect the wishes of all who interact with us, and this will extend to confidentiality of circumstance, privacy of information shared and other reasonable requests made by these individuals.

The Key to Life Charitable Trust maintains respect for Te Titriti o Waitangi, The Privacy Act of 1993 (New Zealand Privacy Commission), the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our People

Mike King
Mike King
Founder & Lead Ambassador

Mike is the founder of the Key to Life Trust, and the Lead Ambassador out in the schools and communities.  Mike started the trust to be able to share his journey and struggles with mental health with our young people, and talks candidly about how his own journey began back at school, relating to much of the target audience.

Mike’s role at KTL is very entrepreneurial, leading on ideas that challenge the current social norms and as our principal speaker.

Mike Dawes
Mike Dawes
CEO

Mike spent 25 years in the tech industry before moving full time into working for Key to Life as the CEO.  Following the 2013 suicide of a friend, Mike embarked on a mission to fundraise for KTL setting up a large annual event which now runs in multiple cities annually. 

Mike’s principal focus covers the day to day operations of the trust and working along side the wider team to support their goals.

Kahlia McDougall
Kahlia McDougall
Administrator

Kahlia is our newest team member and brings a huge amount of passion and energy to the trust.  Kahlia’s role as Administrator underpins all the work we do, and her level of detail helps to ensure that whatever project we are embarking on is successful.

Dallas Gopi
Dallas Gopi
Sponsorships & Partnerships Manager

Dallas’s role covers managing sponsor and partner engagements, liaising with both businesses and Kiwis wanting to fundraise for us, and ensuring they are aligned with our vision and have all the tools they need.

Outside of that, Dallas works closely alongside Mike King to photograph the schools and community talks, capturing the emotion of the conversation.

Tai Tupou
Tai Tupou
Youth Development Program Manager

Tai was originally part of KTL back in the 2012, and as a speaker travelled the country for the first few years talking in schools as an Ambassador.  As one of the youngest members of the team, his story and character are relatable to many schools he talks in.

Tai’s principal role is to run our Youth Program, finding others who want to share their stories and help them grow and provide a platform.

Jasmaine Worthington
Jasmaine Worthington
Youth Ambassador

Jasmaine joined KTL as an ambassador and advocate for mental wellbeing after bringing Mike King to talk at Reporoa College.

Jasmaine has a huge passion and a gift for helping others and from a young age has enjoyed working and involving herself in mental health issues.  Jasmaine's passion to help comes from both losing loved ones to suicide and her own experiences with her mental health.

Stephen Grey
Stephen Grey
Board Chair

Stephen has a vast range of skills that he now brings to the board.  His experience in governance spans close to 37 years and has a wealth of knowledge in both business and politics.

Stephen has been part of previous large events, talks and tours KTL has run and talks openly about his own journey and mental health struggles over the years. 

Michelle Cogger
Michelle Cogger
Board Member

Michelle has been a friend of the trust for several years.  Michelle and her husband Andrew lost their son to suicide and began to campaign for greater awareness of the issues surrounding mental health in NZ.

Michelle contributes greatly to the organisation by assisting with bookings of schools, as well as being able to talk to other parents grieving and share experiences by pathwaying them to the appropriate support channels.

Kendall Flutey
Kendall Flutey
Board Member

Kendall was rightfully recognised as and awarded the 2019 Young New Zealander of the Year.  Kendall is the a co-founder of the EdTech start-up Banqer, and in the capacity as CEO is part of the evolution from idea to successful revenue generating financial education application.

Kendall is deeply passionate about the work KTL does and the way in which we tell our narrative, being personally relatable to our target audience.

Hilary O'Connor
Hilary O'Connor
Board Member

Hilary is a keen technology advocate and evangelist with a passion for innovation, and over twenty years’ experience in the IT industry.

She currently works for Soul Machines as Director of Technical Sales, coming in from Google where she worked for 4.5 years within their Cloud technologies business as Customer Engineering Lead, prior to that she spent 8.5 years at Microsoft, predominantly as Lead Technology Strategist.

She has previously held consulting and, earlier on in her career, development roles, with companies such as Cap Gemini, Deloitte and Datacom.

Mitch Boocock
Mitch Boocock
Ambassador

Proud Kiwi convert and NZ Print Industry identity for the past 20 years, Mitch describes himself as a ‘ridiculously proud’ KTL Ambassador.

Mentoring youth, their whanau and those who have lost loved ones, he strives to inspire behavioural and societal change entirely based upon KTL’s values. Mitch talks regularly in the community with a focus on validating opinion, cross-generation mentor matching and taking permission to love to the masses.

Scott Weatherall
Scott Weatherall
Ambassador

I'm Scott from Dunedin and am a Paramedic with St John.

I absolutely love my job but with most jobs there are good and not so good parts of your job, for me I was starting to find attending a number of our calls for Mental Health emergencies really challenging, I was starting to feel  we could only do so much at that time for people. I have full respect and appreciation for the very challenging role that our Emergency Mental Health workers are dealing with.

I became involved with KTL as a positive way to back up the Ambulance so to speak. I love our philosophy of normalising Mental health conversations, and positive encouragement.  We all have a part to play to look out and check in with our friends and family.