On 26 May 2024 Toni became our Chair. Toni  is a tongue cancer survivor keen to prevent other patients from going through what she has endured. Toni has worked in a family business and in charities and has public relations skills. She is particularly keen to get the prevention message out there, especially in terms of the HPV vaccination. 




Sue had tongue cancer over 20 years ago before radiotherapy was intensity modulated. In recent years she developed osteoradionecrosis and needed a fibula flap transplant to create a new right mandible. The successful surgery was performed by the same surgeons as in 1999!  Sue is a former travel administrator.



Nicky makes television advertisements and is also a graphic artist. She made our logo and brochures. Nicky had tongue cancer and has returned to near normal five years after surgery and radiotherapy. She has been able to re-establish her business and lend her expertise to our group.




Karen is a UK trained nurse who moved to New Zealand in 2003. With a strong interest in oncology throughout her working career, she has been focussed on head and neck cancer over the last 7 years. Karen sees daily the effects of head and neck cancer on patients and their whanau.



Ian is a former registered nurse who was diagnosed with stage III oropharyngeal cancer in 2019. His cancer was successfully treated with chemo and radiotherapy. He is passionate about promoting HPV vaccination. He has his own business in web development and supports HNCSA by providing the framework and hosting for the website.



Pete, with 24 years of experience in the technology industry, brings his expertise to the board to assist the group with technology and governance. Pete has supported Maureen throughout her experiences with cancer.



Mary is stepping down from our board but will continue to do our books. A chartered accountant from Orewa, Mary had a cancer in her jaw removed five years ago and has had fibula reconstruction and many more minor surgeries over this time. She is a highly creative person, a scrapbooker, card maker and champion decorator of masks.




Maureen is a foundation member of HNCSA.  A recurrent tongue cancer survivor, she is aware of the obstacles that can arise on the patient pathway. She enjoys writing content and keeping up with the science on head and neck cancer as well as supporting patients and whanau on social media. 

Susan Vujcich


Susan is an oral cavity cancer survivor keen to help other patients going through similar treatment to what she has endured. She is particularly keen to provide knowledge, advice, reassurance and comfort to patients as they navigate their treatment journey. Susan is a strong advocate for the HPV vaccination in young people as prevention for the type of cancer that she and many others of her generation are experiencing.




Tammy is a long term carer of an oropharyngeal cancer patient and advocate for head and neck cancer people in general. A registered nurse in a cardiac unit, Tammy is interested in the science and has helped many patients over the years.


Catherine Parr 


Catherine began treatment for Stage 4 tongue cancer in November 2018. Up until her diagnosis she  worked full-time as a secondary school teacher. She retired because of the long-term effects of the  treatment. She is keen to support others undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer and those navigating recovery in what may be a quite different life afterwards. She is passionate about the need for  higher HPV vaccination rates in NZ.