top of page

Meet the Team

The Project SEARCH onsite team consists of a full-time Tutor who runs the classroom programme with focus on work related skills.


Skills Trainers work alongside Interns and department staff to identify and provide training for the intern's skill acquisition and the transfer of classroom learning to the workplace.

Linda Leishman

Tutor & Coordinator

Linda has lived experience of disability through her adult son, which led into a career in education. Her professional roles have been as a Teacher, Deputy Principal in a Special Education School, Head of Department in a Secondary School as well as acting Manager of the Lead School Transition pilot in Christchurch. Linda was also a member of the Advisory Group for the Christchurch Enabling Good Lives demonstration. 


Her interest has always been the transition from school into adult life with the hope that some of her knowledge and experience can help make that a smoother process for young people with learning disabilities and their families. She considers herself very fortunate to have the opportunity to set up the first Project SEARCH programme in New Zealand. 

Medium Res-1643_edited.jpg

Demarnia Lloyd-Harris

Skills Trainer

Working for local organisations providing funding information, advocacy and support to people with disabilities and their families has given Demarnia a well-rounded understanding of the Canterbury disability sector.

Working as a Skills Trainer at Project SEARCH alongside each cohort of interns as they expand their options for a work life after school is an interesting and rewarding role, and being a part of improving outcomes for these young people is a highlight of her working life so far.

Hannah Williams-Blakey

Job Coach

Hannah has lived in Christchurch for 9 years, moving here with her whanau from the North of England. She is married with 3 children, one with autism. 


Hannah's background is originally in teaching with time spent working with disaffected young people in the UK. Since moving to Christchurch Hannah has been lucky enough to work with Mana Ake (tamariki and rangitahi mental wellbeing) where her passion for the Neurodivergent community has become even stronger. 

bottom of page