I come from a working class background growing up in Whanganui. Over the years after leaving school, I gained insight into people through many different work experiences adding richly to my life experience. For instance, I worked as a factory hand, NZ Post Office technician, carpet cleaner, insurance salesman, relief dairy milker, McDonald’s kitchen hand, rural delivery relief driver and church pastor. The one thing I have learned and carried with me through my life journey is that people are important. It is this that has led me to counselling and it’s this that keeps me in counselling – people are important.
I trained to become a counsellor in 2005 – 2007 aged in my forties . My qualification was originally a Diploma in Counselling through Laidlaw College in Palmerston North, NZ. This eventuated from a longing I experienced to help people from all walks of life and not just those that went to church. Prior to this I had practiced as a Baptist Pastor for which I had completed a Diploma course through Carey Baptist College. In recent years I have upgraded my qualification to a Bachelor in Counselling through Laidlaw College in Auckland.
FIRST YEARS AS A COUNSELLOR…
I spent my first few years counselling at ‘Living without Violence’, ‘HRC’ and ‘Family Counselling Centre’. Having gained this experience, I moved to Hamilton in 2009.
WORK IN HAMILTON…
In Hamilton, I first began counselling in Addictions and Mental Health with a number of agencies. During this period of time I was able to take advantage of further training opportunities in this field.
I was born in a tiny place called Waikari (Canterbury, South Island). My British parents had not long emigrated from England. I spent my childhood and teenage years in Hamilton where my parents had ultimately settled. After leaving school I went to live in Palmerston North, NZ where I attended Massey University and later married and had a family.
EARLY WORK EXPERIENCES
Holiday work for me in my teenage years and early twenties included being a pool attendant and a receptionist at a doctor’s surgery. This was followed by 48 weeks of farm work as I completed a degree in agricultural science. Many memorable hours were spent milking cows, birthing ewes and pressure cleaning pig pens.
Married young at 21 years old, my life was soon busy with children. I gave birth to my seventh and last baby at the age of 43. At this point my marriage ended and I spent 5 years as a sole parent before meeting Phil and marrying for the second time in 2010. My life in a few short sentences. Impossible to describe in detail the experiences and events I encountered along the way that have shaped me into the person I am today.
As a sole parent I was supported by WINZ. To supplement my meagre income I set up and ran a home bakery business delivering cakes to Hamilton cafes. In 2009 I began working for Catholic Family Support Services (CFFS) as a Family Support Worker until 2012 when I trained to become a Financial Mentor. I continued working for CFFS in this role, working with many people in the community listening, encouraging and facilitating families to strengthen their finances.
I trained to become a counsellor over three full-time years at Wintec in Hamilton graduating with a bi-cultural counselling degree: Paetahi Tumu Korero – Bachelor in Counselling in March, 2019 . After gaining provisional membership with the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (MNZAC) , I joined Phil in his work at Waikato Counselling.
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