TS Talisman has been part of the community since 1961


our team


Are you interested in joining the team?

LT Milo Coldren,  Cadet Unit Commander
Lieutenant Coldren is passionate about sharing the freedom and excitement of the sea. He sailed to NZ from Canada with his wife Kimberly, and they now run a yacht charter business from Nelson when not having a blast with their fantastic kids, or tutoring at Nelson's Maritime School.  He's sailed extensively throughout the Atlantic and Pacific commercially, competitively, and recreationally, and is proud to call Nelson home.

Ens DJ Smith, Executive Officer
Ensign Smith served more than 10 years in the Defence Force, first as a Navy seaman/sonar operator for 6 years, followed by 5 years in the Air Force Police. Not ready to sit back, he spent the next 16 years with the NZ Police, finishing as Staff Safety Tactical Officer. He now works with Court Security, is married and they are happily settled in Nelson. 

Ens Scott Blakemore, Admin Officer
Ensign Blakemore is married to Gabrielle and has two children, Jack and Ryah, who are both Sea Cadets.  He spent a good part of his youth in the NZ Army (infantry) and enjoys the outdoors, reading and keeping fit.  He spent a number of years in Nepal with his wife serving with a Christian Medical Mission and is currently working as a District Nurse with the NMDHB.  Scott appreciates the ethos of Sea Cadets and is keen to make a positive difference in the lives of our youth

Ens Jake Vanderburg, Boats Officer
Ensign Vanderburg was a cadet at Nelson College in his youth, and joined the Army as a Territorial. He has sailed recreationally most his life, and works as a diesel engine fuel injection specialist.  He is in charge of all the TS TALISMAN boats and boatshed, and is also our Gunnery Officer. He is married with an adult daughter, and enjoys spending time with his family.

Ens Alicia Hannen, Training Officer
Ensign Hannen volunteers so that TS Talisman can do more awesome things for all the cadets."I have seen how others have blossomed in Sea Cadets and I love the way my daughter Mikala grew in confidence and skills. And she is now a cadet on the Spirit of New Zealand. I want to help other youth have that opportunity too."  Alicia likes to have fun and enjoys challenging herself as well. 

Ens Richard Ash, Sailing Officer
Ensign Ash is a professional furniture maker who trained the cadets in restoring the unit's binnacle in 2008. He 
returned to TS Talisman a few years later once his children had left the nest, and is now our Sailing Officer. His role is to support the Cadet Sailing Coaches in delivering the Yachting New Zealand levels 1 thru 3 curriculum as well as the rest of our on the water programs.

UO Neneh Martin, Welfare Officer
Under Officer Martin joined TS Talisman in 2010 and never looked back. She is one of the few civilians in New Zealand to have been awarded the Chief of Navy Commendation. This was for her bravery and skills in assisting the victim of a house explosion in 2014. She has a keen awareness for the needs of others, and is dedicated to helping cadets grow in confidence.

Mr Glen Vartha

Mrs Annette Vartha

MS Mimi Hausmann


Sea cadets