CCIG Advisory Group Members

The Cross Cultural Interest Advisory Group is formally established in May 2018. Members of the Advisory Group include:

Dr Sai Wong – Founder and Advisory Group member

Sai Wong

Dr. Sai Wong, ONZM, was a consultant psychiatrist working in the public.  In the public service, his experience is in both acute and chronic psychiatry, providing services not only to the general population but also the Chinese on a regional basis.  He was the Clinical Director for South Auckland Mental Health Services from 1988 till 1998. Since 2018, he focusses only on private work. In this role he is primarily serving the Chinese population. In the past 20 years, Dr Wong has spent much time working among the Chinese population in Auckland, giving lectures both to local community and professional groups on mental health issues. He has frequently advocated for the need of a service for the Chinese.  He is one of the founders of the Chinese Life Line service, providing telephone counselling to Chinese in distress.

Patrick Au – Advisory Group member

Patrick Au

Patrick Au is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. Originally from Hong Kong, Patrick has worked in various mental health settings in New Zealand.  He is currently the Team Leader of the Asian Mental Health Team of Auckland District Health Board.

Dr Gary Cheung - Advisory Group member

Gary Cheung

Dr Gary Cheung is an Otago Medical School graduate and completed his psychiatry training in Hamilton. He currently holds a joint appointment between Auckland District Health Board as a liaison old age psychiatrist and the University of Auckland as a Senior Lecturer. He is the Director of Academic Programme for the Auckland Regional Psychiatric Training Programme. He co-leads the translation and research of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) for mild to moderate dementia in New Zealand, including individual CST and integrating physical exercise with CST. He is a member of the Brain Research New Zealand Dementia Prevention Research Clinics, a longitudinal study of biomarkers and factors influencing risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease progression. His other key research projects include suicide in older people, the lived experience of dementia and big data analysis using the interRAI database.

Dr Aram Kim – Advisory Group member

Aram Kim

Dr Aram Kim is a 1.5 generation Korean-New Zealander. He completed his medical training at University of Auckland before attaining MRCPsych (UK) and FRANZCP. He also obtained PGDip in CBT through Massey University. He has a strong passion for perinatal and infant psychiatry, cultural psychiatry, spirituality, psychotherapy and teaching. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at University of Auckland. He is also the current Chair of Korean Community Wellness Society Inc. and is an active volunteer for a number of community organisations and initiatives. 

Dr Rajendra Pavagada – Advisory Group member

Raj Pavagada


Dr Rajendra Pavagada, MS.BS. M.D; Ms.Psych.Med; Dip.Psych.Med, a member of the New Zealand Medical Association. Raj is a psychiatrist working in the Department of Psychiatry in Counties Manukau DHB.

Dr Sheila Chan – Advisory Group member

Sheila Chan

Dr Sheila Chan is a psychiatrist working in Auckland. Originally from Hong Kong, she completed her medical degree in The Chinese University of Hong Kong and finished her specialist psychiatric training in 2015. She moved to Auckland in February 2017 and obtained NZMC Vocational Registration in Psychiatry. During her time in Hong Kong she was Honorary Assistant Professor in Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong. She had participated in a number of sleep-related research projects. Her interests include perinatal psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, sleep disorders and conducting systematic review and meta-analysis. Being a new migrant herself, she is interested in translating her practice from a modern collectivist culture to an individualist culture.

Jim Xu – Advisory Group member

Jim Xu

Jim Xu is the Charge Nurse Manager, Fraser McDonald Unit, Auckland City Hospital. Jim completed the Bachelor of Nursing study at the University of Auckland in 2006; and he has been working for Fraser McDonald Unit since 2007. He completed the Master Degree in Nursing at the University of Auckland recently. Jim moved to New Zealand from China in 2002. He is married with 3 young children. In his free time, Jim enjoys spending time with family.Jim advocates patient centred care and evidence based practice; he focuses on the improvement of quality care for older people with mental health illness. Due to his own cultural background, Jim has a very good understanding about cultural differences and cultural safety. Jim has strong interest in promoting cultural safety for Asian people with mental illness; he was involved in the development of ‘Talking Therapies for Asian People’ in 2010; he has been regularly involved with supporting Asian patients and family on the ward in the past 10+ years.

Sue Wong – Administrative support for the advisory group

Sue Wong

Suet-Yi (Sue) migrated from Hong Kong 30 years ago. Sue has nursing background and obtained a Master of Education in counselling with honours at University of Auckland and a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Massay University.  She is a qualified interpreter working mainly in general hospital and mental health setting.

Sue Lim – Administrative support for the advisory group

Sue Lim

Sue Lim QSM, is the eCALD® National Programme Director, Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Waitemata DHB. Sue is the founder of eCALD© Services. She has been leading the development of eCALD®courses and resources since 2005, working in partnership, collaboration and in conjunction with experts in cross-cultural research and training, subject-matter experts, e-learning technical experts, media production experts and health professionals. In her previous role as Operations Manager of Waitemata DHB’s Asian Health Services (2000-2015), she developed and managed a range of cultural-specific and language appropriate services including Asian Mental Health Service, Asian Patient Support Service, 24-7 WATIS Interpreting Service, Asian Breastscreen Service, iCare-helpline and also founded and project-lead the WDHB Asian Mental Health & Addictions Governance Group.