My journey into Social Work has come about from a desire to open doors for those that sometimes can't quite open them for themselves.
I have a background in the military (Royal NZ Air Force) as a radio operator and then the transport industry as a scheduler/despatcher. Even though I wasn't aware at the time, the skills that I developed over the 30 plus years I was employed in these roles were preparing me for what was to come.
My journey to Te Tuinga Whanau began 4 years ago when I applied for and was accepted on to the Bachelor of Social Work programme at Waikato University. I joined the programme in 2016 and this year, I completed my 3rd year placement at Te Tuinga Whanau. This placement confirmed for me that the area I will specialise in after I complete my degree next year is Whanau Ora. For me, applying a Whanau Ora approach that supports whanau to achieve their goals and aspirations while placing them at the centre of any decision making is what Social Work means to me.
Since completing my placement, I was offered a position as office administrator and it is in this role that I get to meet the whanau that come to us for advice and assistance, put in to practice my engagement skills and provide administrative support as required by the Te Tuinga Whanau staff.
I am humbled to be a part of an amazing group of people.