Member Q&A - Daniel Freeman-McGrath

Each month we talk to a PSA Youth member and find out about their work and passions.

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Daniel Freeman McGrathWhat were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?

I was thinking oh no! What will I say!  Where will I find the time to write this! And who will proof read my grammar!


What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work? 

I am a care and protection social worker for Child, Youth and Family and I don’t think there is ever an average day. Anything could happen here! I might be spending the entire day on the computer and the phone, or I might be out on the road or with children and young people all day.

What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?

A highlight for me was seeing a young person starting to achieve and make positive choices in their life and they are now on a path where they are safe, strong and thriving.  But the biggest highlight happened as I was writing this, was getting a call that one of the young people that I have been working with won one of the prestigious William Wallace Awards, which I had nominated them for.


What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?

There are a lot of challenging aspects in this job, there are a lot of challenging decisions to make, and  a lot of tight timeframes to meet, and high expectations placed on you. But, I think the hardest thing is seeing children and young people hurt and lost.


What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?

I really enjoy being a part of a collective of likeminded people, I joined the PSA to be a part of a collective working together for better and safer working conditions. I joined PSA Youth, because I wanted to be more involved in the PSA and I thought the Youth network would be a great way to get more involved.


What is your vision for young members of the PSA?

My vision for young members of the PSA is for them to be more involved in their union and workplaces, to have their strengths and talents recognised and acknowledged.


How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I like to spend my time outside of work at the gym, trying to stay fit. I do a bit of gaming, and when I can I like to do some traveling. I also enjoy getting involved in philosophical debates, especially around sociology and psychology.  I love getting out to the beach when I can, there is an amazing marine reserve here in Northland called Goat’s Island / Leigh, which is an absolutely pristine place to go for a swim, snorkel or dive.  


What cause would get you out on the streets protesting and why?

There is quite a lot that I would get out on the streets protesting for. I am quite passionate about human rights and our environment, not only in New Zealand but overseas too. As nothing happens in isolation, we have to plan and assess holistically, and we certainly can’t exist without our environment, but we need a healthy and strong society to be able to care for our environment.         


Which three figures from past or present would you invite to your place for dinner, and why? 

Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and Bill Nye, because it would make for an excellent philosophical and scientific dinner debate!


What are your three pet peeves?

Loud eating noises, people leaving left over food or dirty plates around and people not following through with what they said they would do.


What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

I would tell myself to take more opportunities, take a chance, take some risks and believe in yourself.  


Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity and I encourage everyone to take up this challenge and put yourself out there!  

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui, Everyone has strengths, believe in yourself, believe in others, be strong, be patient, be confident. Be the change you want to see in the world.