Inspiring young New Zealanders to explore, engage with and model the Olympic Values through participation in sport and the celebration of the Olympic Games.


  • Kereyn Smith - Secretary General NZOC
  • Bernice Mene- Chair
  • Simon Clarke
  • Kylie Thompson
  • Leanne Walker
  • Richie Patterson
  • Tone Kolose

The role of the Olympic Education Commission is to advise the NZOC Board on strategies to promote Olympism through education. For further information, refer to the Education Commission Terms of Reference.

Please see the Education Commission Strategy Document - 2021 - 2024.

Bernice Mene

Bernice is a former New Zealand netball representative, wearing the Silver Fern for over 10 years. In 2003 New Year Honors, Bernice was appointed a member of the Order of Merit for services to netball.  Previously working across a number of industries, from education to sport to media, Bernice has been employed on a range of government projects as well as television preseting and keynote speaking. She is current the Manager of the Pinnacle Programme enabling and inspiring youth to be the next generation of global and community leaders.


Simon Clarke

Simon is Principal of Kaikorai Primary School in Dunedin. Simon has been in the education sector for 27 years as a Teacher, Deputy Principal and for the last 10 years as Prinipal.

He has played, coached and been involved in governance in the Dunedin basketball community, including the Otago Nuggets. He is also a keen skier and has a great interest in the Winter Olympic Games. 


Kylie Thompson

Kylie is currently a lecturer at AUT and has previously lectured at the University of Waikato, and at Unitec.

Kylie undertakes research in the fields of Health & Physical Education, pedagogy, social and emotional learning, and citizenship education. Kylie has held previous curriculum and assessment advisory roles including NZQA national moderator and Physical Education New Zealand subject advisor. Before coming to AUT, Kylie taught health, physical education and outdoor education in secondary schools and then worked as a lecturer in initial teacher education.

Kylie together with Debbie Garea (from Sport of the Bay of Plenty) to write Phys. Ed. resources for both the Rio and Tokyo Games.

Leanne Walker

Leanne is an Olympian (#8859), captaining the New Zealand women's basketball team in both Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. Leanne was also an NZOC Women in Sport Leadership Graduate in 2020.  She has also represented New Zealand in Touch Rugby. Leanne’s work in these two sports has been recognised with the Senior Māori Sportswoman award, presented to her at the Trillian Trust Māori Sports Awards for her outstanding contribution to Māori Sport.

Leanne has also coached Basketball at National level including: Assistant Coach NZ U18 women (2nd in Oceania, 5th in Asia cup), Head Coach of NZ senior women’s 3x3 – Gold at Asia cup in 2018 and Assistant Coach of NZ U18 3x3 world champs in 2017 (finishing 5th).

Leanne now teaches at St Peters in Cambridge.


Richie Patterson

Richie was the first weightlifter to represent New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games, and has been competing in weightlifting for 20 years.

Richie has represented NZ at three Olympic Games 2008-2016 and four Commonwealth Games 2006-2018. He has held a position on the NZOC Athletes Commission alongside his experience visiting schools throughout New Zealand as an Olympic Ambassador, and work with Sport NZ around sport and education in schools. He provides guidance to help increase the impact of athletes as leaders and role models to inspire the next generation of kiwis. 

Tone Kolose

Tone brings considerable experience and knowledge of the primary school education sector. He has been  Principal of Manurewa South School in South Auckland since 2012. He is currently President of the Manurewa Principals Association.

Tone has been involved in sport, particularly touch and league, throughout his life as a player, and as a coach.  He believes that it is important children experiencing a range of activities including sporting events, the Arts – music, dance, drama and visual art, as well as the fundamental skills of literacy, math’s and inquiry learning to help them become confident, life-long learners.