Botany Downs Secondary College has 4 youth workers and one Team Leader.

Jackie Cox

Youth Worker

Jackie grew up in East Auckland, graduating from Edgewater College in 1999. She has been a youth worker at Botany since 2011. That's over ten years of service. Way to go Jackie!

Jackie also works for Auckland Libraries in Pakuranga and continues to make her work fit around her role at BDSC, because she wants to see youth succeed in Botany.

Jacke has a significant interest in Japan, where she has lived for extended periods of time. She speaks Japanese fluently and has a Master's degree that is related to Japanese culture.

Alex Pope

Youth Worker

Alex has been a youth worker at Botany since November 2019. He has a background in youth worker. Alex completed his Youth Worker National Certificate, Level 3 in 2019.

Alex also grew up in East Auckland, and was mentored by David Hoe. David was on of our first youth workers, so it is great to see the second generation now at work at Botany.

Mike Turinsky

Team Leader and Youth Worker

Mike Turinsky has worked as a paid youth worker at Botany since the programme began. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Business and Economics from George Fox University.


He previously worked in the business world (human resources, management, and finance) before coming to work with Young Life NZ Trust. His experience with youth work goes back 20+ years. He is also an elected member of the Howick Local Board.


He is married to Jewel Turinsky and and they have two sons, Mattias (17) and Liam (15).

Joshua Yang

Youth Worker

Zhaohui (Joshua) Yang has been a youth worker at Botany since 2019. He has a background in community youth work. He is also a local business owner working with new immigrants. Joshua is married and has one daughter.

Joshua is good at bringing people together. He also organises the "Christmas Wonder Park" in Flat Bush which brings many different groups together every year.

Joshua knows personally what its like when you first immigrate to New Zealand and he likes to work with students, many of whom are new immigrants themselves. He also speaks Mandarin fluently.