I have had a long history in the Social Services. I migrated from Canada in 1974. In 1979 I started working for the Department of Social Welfare as a Residential Social Worker. I worked at both Kingslea and the ChCh Boys Home for the next 10 years, taking time out to attain my Diploma in Social Work from University of Canterbury.
In 1990, I left the Department to establish a Youth Home for Young Offenders as a pilot project. After a year and the project completed I decided to pursue other career options. I worked in the Disable persons sector for IHC for a short period before getting a job at Rolleston Prison as the Recreation Coordinator. I was a self-confessed fitness freak in those days so I enjoyed putting physical challenges up for inmates to help them build confidence and other personal benefits.I left this job to get my Post-Graduate Diploma in Recreation at Lincoln University. I finished in 1993.After a short sabbatical I decided to take a different direction and opened a restaurant, something I always wanted to do.
After 2 years I started to get sick and the long hours began to take its toll on me. I was not recovering well and eventually had to close the restaurant. I was then diagnosed with hepatitis C which explained my continuing sickness.In early 1998 I started the first support group for people with hep C and eventually convinced the Ministry of Health to fund a service to raise awareness, promote health and provide support and advocacy for those affected by hep C.I have continued in this role for the last 18 years during which time I have seen incredible developments in the field of hepatitis C. Through our ongoing programme of community education and health promotion we have contributed to the de-stigmatisation of hep C and helped many get a better understanding of how this virus affects people.
I was cured of hep C in 2002 with a treatment that didn’t work for many. New drugs have recently been introduced which are much more tolerable and cure people in over 95% of cases.I live with three of my children and continue to work in Community Services. My desire to be involved with the SigJaw Trust comes from having a vision of an equitable society that allows everyone the same opportunities for life despite challenges from disabilities. edit me. It's easy.