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Susan Haldane is the driving force behind Mind Over Manner.

She is the Founder and Creative Director of this charity

Susan directs and facilitates with a professional team of theatre practitioners who are dedicated to the study of human difference and behaviour.

Using her 35 years  experience as an actor, director and teacher, Susan now utilises the power of theatre as the creative medium through which to shift thinking, reframe our understandings and reassess our responses towards our more complex youth.

Susan’s work has focused predominantly on youth and their development of social confidence, flexibility and activating their personal contribution towards Creating a Culture of Respect.

Susan has facilitated theatre workshops with refugees, kids on the street, for multicultural and differently abled groups, in schools, in prisons, with educators and with legal, medical and other professional groups

As a result of all this combined experience, and as a parent of a young adult with ASD/ADHD, Susan has become specifically curious and has developed her own extensive knowledge of the cognitively diverse individual and what their specific needs may be.

As these children have reached adolescence, Susan has also come to recognise the increasing needs of the parents, family, teachers and other professionals who are in close contact with these students.

The strength and stability of these people in their interactive role is a fundamental contributor to the most positive development of the teenager.


ADRIAN SHIELDSCharity Advisory Board Member
Adrian has 40 years experience in Charities, Governance and Advocacy. His area of expertise is community development for all ethnic groups

MIKE HALL Advisory Board Member
Mike was the father of a 14 year old boy with Aspergers and ADHD when he attended his first Mind Over Manner workshop. He was so inspired by the content of what they did and what they offered that he had to ask – what he could do to help them spread their message to others. Mike specialises in Media and Communications. His son is now 17 and Mike continues to actively  support this charity.

DIANA EDWARDSAdvisory Board Member
Diana is a Physiotherapist specialising in Hand Therapy at Middlemore Hospital. Diana is director and manager of a horticulture business . She has long term understanding of the requirements of families who live with neurodiversity and other disabilities.

MARGARET MARY HOLLINS – Advisory Board Member :   Actor

Margaret Mary has performed with Mind Over Manner over the years as an actor. As a board member she brings the perspective of the actor and the inside view of what is required for the core team. From her own extensive experience as an Artistic Director she brings her outside eye on the organisation, administration, communications with the  core team and the requirements of the Creative Director.  Margaret Mary has been a professional in the performing arts industry 40 + years with 9 years experience as a leader of an arts organisation ( TAPAC).                               Lived Experience Dyslexia

Advisory Board Member
Sandy has a Masters in Education, Dip Counseling Psychology with honors from the University of Auckland, a trained NLP practitioner and a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychological Type (NZAPT). She also works as a volunteer in Governance roles on NFP Boards for community groups including Mind over Manner, Integrated Neurological Research Foundation.