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

MSW (Applied), MANZASW

Hemant was born in Mumbai – India. He moved to New Zealand in 2002 and currently lives on the North Shore with his wife Hina and son Aryan. Hemant is an avid learner with nearly 20 years of experience in the disability sector. Prior to moving to NZ, Hemant worked for 8 years in the special education sector in Mumbai and completed a Masters degree in Psychology. On arriving in NZ, Hemant worked with Creative Abilities for 6 years in various roles from a Caregiver to Social Services Manager. Later he worked for nearly 5 years with the Health and Disability Commissioner in the role of Disability Initiatives Manager. Hemant completed his Master of Social Work from Massey in 2008 and is currently pursuing his PhD in Social Work from the University of Auckland. Hemant's hobbies include drumming, listening to fusion music, and watching Bollywood movies. Hemant is a strong proponent of person-centred practice and is thrilled to be a part of the Creative Abilities family again.