I am a 30 year old gay woman, originally from Queenstown, and now based in Christchurch, where I have lived on and off for the past 12 years. I have also lived and worked in various parts of Australia (WA, QLD, NT), and in Wellington. I gained my Social Work degree at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 2015.
I currently work on one of the Acute Adult Psychiatric Wards as a Clinical Social Worker in the Specialist Mental Health Service (CDHB). Previously I have worked for Child, Youth, & Family in Youth Justice, and have also worked in Restorative Justice, and in community based youth work. I have previously been a member of the Canterbury board of the Howard League for Penal Reform.
I place high value on the role and strength of unions, having previously been a member of NUPE in 2010 and 11 (when working for CYF), and now with PSA (since beginning of 2016).
I have a strong interest in improving the nature and quality of the service that our GLBTIA service users experience within the CDHB, and particularly within Specialist Mental Health Services. When local research tells us that 1 in 5 same sex attracted youth have tried to take their own lives – a rate 5x higher than their straight peers, we as health professionals have a duty to do what we can to make the lives of these young people even just a little bit easier.
Similarly, I want to support my GLBTIA colleagues and help to mobilise them to jump on board this waka. If they are not feeling supported and comfortable within their own workplace, they may not feel in a position to make this service better for our GLBTIA service users.