Anushiya Ponniah, Board Member

Anushiya Ponniah, Board Member | ChildFund New Zealand

I believe in the Kaupapa that every child has the right to be secure physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually."  

As a child growing up in Sri Lanka’s war-torn northern part, Anushiya had a short but lasting impression of how life can be difficult when faced with insurmountable challenges. She has also seen and experienced the lasting impact that international humanitarian efforts have had on individuals and communities. Not every country or communities or whānau is able to support children to be free of violence, poverty and disease without help, she says. So any support she can help provide to children through ChildFund is an investment for a better life not only for that child but for the community that they come from. She is invested in upholding every child’s right and invested in the future generation.

Born in Sri Lanka, and now based in Tauranga, Anushiya’s career has centered on the public health sector, where she has held various consultancy and advisory roles working with iwi and district health boards. Anushiya was previously Chief Executive of New Zealand’s Royal District Nursing Service, and has been a lecturer with the University of Otago’s Masters of Business Administration programme. In 2006 New Zealand Management Magazine identified Anushiya as one of New Zealand’s 10 Young Leaders to watch, and in 2004 Anushiya received New Zealand Institute of Management‘s New Zealand’s Young Executive of the Year Award. 

She more recently took on interim CEO role with Fresh Minds New Zealand. It is a joint venture social enterprise between ProCare in Auckland and  Ora Compass Health in Wellington delivering primary mental health services in New Zealand. She also works as an independent consultant to health and social service providers and volunteers with local community/iwi providers in Tauranga. 

Anushiya enjoys growing her knowledge on issues facing the next generation across the world. She joined the ChildFund board in 2019 and being part of it gives her the ability to influence in a small way a better future for children 

Away from work, Anushya enjoys cooking, travelling, spending time with whānau.