Meet the Team


We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.

The Office Team

Catherine Turner

Chief Executive Manager

“I have had a passion for equality and fairness all my life and have been professionally involved with Human Rights on St Helena for over 10 years.

I did a business degree a million years ago and hold a Masters in Human Rights Law.

I am privileged to hold a dual role within the Commission as CEO with ultimately responsibility for its effective management and as one of five Commissioners responsible for the promotion and protection of the human rights of everyone on St Helena.”

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Carol Thompson

Executive Manager

Over 20 years experience in administration both at middle and senior management level with the St Helena Government. Experience covered Human Resources, Accounts Secretarial, General Administration and Management in various Government Departments.

Spent 5 years on the Falkland Islands (1996-2001), working as a Manager for the Services Institute at the Military base MPA and later a Hotel Receptionist at Port Stanley.   

Am part qualified with ACCA, have a diploma in Business Management and am an Associate Member of CIPD. 

I was born and educated on St Helena. I am married and living at Alarm Forest and have a son working abroad.

Working for the Equality & Human Rights Commission is thought-provoking and has broadened my knowledge and understanding of the ‘Rights’ afforded to every individual because they are human.  

I believe ‘Equality & Human Rights’ should be fundamental to every organisation, private and government on the Island. 

“No Cause can justify the Abuse of Human Rights” – Irene Khan

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Phyllis Coleman

Administrative Assistant

A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

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Nicole Paulsen

Human Rights Assistant

Born in Cape Town, South Africa. Moved to St Helena at the age of 7 where I have spent my days in the tropical sun and experiencing the beauty and culture of my mother’s island.

My drive for the protection and promotion of human rights first started as a work experience student with the commission, where now I have worked my way to the post of Human Rights Assistant.

I have a desire to continue a career in human rights as well as to study Human Rights Law and to gain work experience in another country and eventually become a qualified Human Rights Officer for St Helena.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriot Tubman

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Annina van Neel


A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

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Mark Brooks


Age 42. Born on St Helena and spent the first 18 year of my life living on the Island. Left for the UK in 1997 and started a career as a cabinet maker and continue to broaden my skills in the construction industry. In 2004 started my own business by setting up a small construction company. After 13 years of running my own business decided to return back to St Helena with my partner and dad. I decided to become a human rights commissioner after living on St Helena for a year because I felt there was a real lack of understanding of people’s human rights and wanted to help protect the rights of a human. I’m also a lay advocate and have a passion to look after our planet and nature. My hobbies are football, Go karting and swimming. One of my favourite quotes…

It’s not that we can’t feed the poor it’s that we can’t satisfied the rich.”

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Catherine Harris Cranfield


Cathy Cranfield who is married to Colin and together they have a daughter and grandson.  She has had a long and wide-ranging public service career with both the St Helena and Ascension Island Governments mainly in managerial and leadership roles.  She was seconded to the Administrator’s Office on Ascension Island in 2001 to provide support prior to the fundamental change when the Ascension Island Government was formed and income tax was introduced for the first time.  During her thirteen year employment in a number of senior managerial roles – Human Resources/Administration, Quality Assurance and Project management, she undertook Human Rights Awareness training, successfully gained a Diploma in Project Management and completed Unitar’s Climate Control and Green Diplomacy online course. This course was an eye opener and revealed the human rights issues when people are displaced.   

On a few occasions she held the position of Acting HH the Administrator who is responsible for managing the island’s affairs on Ascension she was also elected as a Councillor for a three year term.

In June 2014 she returned to St Helena to take up a job as Head of Procurement with the St Helena Government however later had to leave because of ill health.

In March 2017 she was appointed Human Rights Commissioner and then Chair of the Commission for a two year term.  She’s become accustomed to the challenges faced embedding a human rights culture in St Helena within this little Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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Janine Nyschens

Overseas Commissioner

A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

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