Meet the Committee


Warwick Shillito

Warwick is a senior lecturer in anatomy, physiology, pathology and image interpretation in the Bachelor of Medical Imaging. He also teaches clinical anatomy and pathophysiology to osteopathy students in the Bachelor of Musculoskeletal Health and Postgraduate Diploma in Osteopathy. His background is in psychology and chiropractic, having practiced for 10 years in Singapore and Australia. He has been involved with the union for over ten years and has been Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President over that time. He has experience with resolving a wide range of industrial disputes as well as being involved in a number of collective employment negations. He has two adult sons, both of whom live overseas. In his spare time he is involved in sport and the performing arts….even a dabbling in musical theatre from time to time.


Gus Walkden

Gus started teaching at Ara (in the CPIT Department of Business) at the start of 2012, after working as a professional Business Consultant for over 8 years. Gus loves teaching and making a real difference in student’s lives as they come to study at Ara. Gus enjoys amateur photography, in particular macro-photography. Gus has a Masters’ in Business Administration (MBA) degree from UC and loves making accounting reports relevant and easy to understand for everyone involved in the business. As treasurer, his aim is to help AASC use their financial resources to maximise member benefits.


Linda Toohey

Linda is currently the Team Leader at Ara’s Computing for Free campus at New Brighton. She has worked at Ara for over 10 years and is passionate about providing communities with the computing skills required to become confident digital citizens. She works with skilled learning facilitators who work across the city and is constantly amazed at the awesome work they do within their own communities.

She loves her job and believes that Ara, being one of the largest employers in the Canterbury region, should be leading the way in best employment practice. As one of the newest members to the team she is committed to ensuring all employees are treated fairly and respectfully and are recognised for the value they bring.

Committee Member

Anna Richardson

Anna has worked at Ara (formerly CPIT) for 28 years in the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health. Anna has an understanding of the challenges in working as an Academic in the tertiary sector – maintaining practice currency, providing excellent teaching and learning to our students and being research active. Anna has enjoyed the time that she has worked at Ara over the years. In Anna’s work in AASC she wishes to ensure that the quality of the working environment and the experience of being an Ara employee is positive and fulfilling one.

Committee Member

Arifah Addison

Arifah became a computing teacher after ten years working in various corporate IT roles interspersed with world travel. She started off in high schools before moving into the tertiary arena at Ara, and enjoys the dynamic and challenging nature of the education sector as well as the interesting and diverse people involved in it. Arifah believes that it is important to help others navigate their journey, so as well as becoming part of the AASC committee she has also joined the local branch committee of IT Professionals NZ.
Vice President

Jane Parker

Jane has been a lecturer in law in the Dept of Enterprise and Digital Innovation for the last four years.  Since graduating in law Jane has worked in diverse areas at the interface between the law and the legal rights of individuals in their daily lives.    Jane has worked for the Parliamentary Ombudsmen, the Ministry of Justice as a Disputes Tribunal Referee and the Real Estate Agents Authority on the regional Complaints Assessments Committee and is passionate about access to justice and transparency within government.  For Jane, active involvement with AASC is an opportunity to be part of a team that achieves positive outcomes for AASC members in a critical area of daily life – their employment.  Away from Ara Jane loves reading, “lively” discussions, farmers’ markets and sharing meals with friends and her family. 

Committee Member

Dave Dixon

Dave looks after the Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL) and is a strong advocate for the notion that all learning is valid, irrespective of when, where or how that learning occurred. This commitment to fairness for all is transferred to the work done with AASC. When not at Ara, Dave has a busy ‘fun’ time brewing beer, playing in a band, and spending time with family and friends.
Committee Member

Heather Josland

Heather is a senior nursing lecturer with a (background in emergency nursing) and a vested interest in healthy working relationship for all employees. She represents AASC Union on Ara’s Health and Safety Committee. Out of work, Heather values spending time with her husband and grown children.
Committee Member

Linda McKitterick

Linda is a senior lecturer in Marketing and Sales and joined Ara from industry in 2011. Joining the committee in 2017, Linda is always looking at ways for members to interact with their union and ways to promote what is happening for members. So feel free to contact her with any ideas you might have. When not at work, Linda enjoys time with family and is a pre-48 car enthusiast! With her husband being a builder of 1934 Chevy’s and Fords.

Committee Member

Leighton Brown

Leighton Brown joined the committee 6 years ago, having had previous experience in secretarial roles. Leighton believes the philosophy of AASC is perfectly suited to the needs of academic staff at Ara, and he enjoys the points of difference that the organisation has over other unions in the workplace. Leighton enjoys listening to music of all genres and conversing with a wide range of people. As a regular in the Ara staff room, Leighton enjoys a good conversation, and the discovery of where that might lead.