Advisory Board

Elizabeth Soper ‐ Advisory Board Member


Elizabeth (Liz) is the Founder of Creative Abilities; the organisation she is most proud of working with. The many varied young/older adults with Creative Abilities have given meaning to life as she learns and gains insight from their unique abilities. Liz received a Queen’s Service Order in 1999 for Community Service. She is married to Gordon (her rock), with 5 children (4 daughters / 1 son deceased) and 10 amazing grandchildren

Gary Duberly ‐ Advisory Board Member

Associate Member ICSA

Completing his studies in 1993, Gary was admitted as an Associate Member to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). With 21 years’ experience in the fields of taxation and business services, Gary (via his company Duberly Vincent), advises small and medium sized enterprises across a broad spectrum of industries in the areas of tax compliance, financial & management accounting, business development and management advice. Gary is a double world masters squash champion and is a passionate supporter of many sports. Gary is married to Angie and has three daughters, Jamie, Tyler and Danielle.

Tim Hurley ‐ Advisory Board Member


Tim is a trained counsellor and family therapist with clinical experience in the disability and mental health sectors. He currently works in palliative care. Tim has a ‘lived history’ with disability that began thirty years ago with the birth of his youngest son, Jonathon, who is a client of Creative Abilities. Tim has two other adult children and four grandchildren. When he is not spending time being a grandfather, he enjoys playing bridge, reading novels and exploring the New Zealand bush and beaches.

Hemant Thakkar ‐ Advisory Board Member


Originally, a Cost and Management Accountant, Hemant made his career move to the disability sector in 1994 as a Special Educator in a special school for intellectually disabled children in Mumbai, India. He then worked as a lecturer in a teachers' training centre in Special Education. Upon moving to New Zealand in 2002, Hemant worked with Creative Abilities for six years in various roles from caregiver to Social Services Manager. Later he worked for nearly five years with the Health and Disability Commissioner as the Disability Initiatives Manager. Currently Hemant works as the Service Improvement Manager for a national level kaupapa Maori disability service provider. Hemant is an avid learner with multiple post-graduate level qualifications in commerce, cost and management accountancy, special education, psychology and social work including a PhD in Social Work (Disabilities). Hemant's non-academic hobbies include drumming, listening to fusion music and watching Bollywood movies. Hemant considers it to be his privilege to be a part of the Creative Abilities family.