Cutting Edge | Te toka tū moana was held in Kirikiriroa | Hamilton on 22-23 November 2023.
Once again we took the opportunity to recognise members of the addiction workforce, nominated by their peers, for the contribution they make to their sector, to their organisations and to support tāngata whai ora.
Congratulations and a big shout out to the 2023 awards winners!
Lynda’s nomination noted: Lynda is a charismatic person and an inspirational leader; these qualities fittingly resonate with her appointment as the first-ever AOD Clinician selected as a Team Leader within Te Whatu Ora Waikato (previously Waikato DHB). As Team Leader Lynda elevated the team morale to a collective, supportive, rewarding and close-knit unit. Her friendly nature and sense of humour make her relate with anyone and everyone. Despite her busy schedule and responsibilities, Lynda makes herself available, whenever short-staffed, to cover individual sessions, group therapy and to support and be a sounding board for the team to discuss clinical and ethical situations.
Lynda is a strong advocate of the AOD profession and provides invaluable service to the AOD field. She has earned immense respect for her knowledge, skills, support and care to tangata whai ora and whānau; and now, she is doing a transformational job of obtaining the deserved status for AOD clinicians. The proverb, ‘If you give a man a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach them to fish, you feed them for a lifetime’ suits Lynda. In the context of this analogy, Lynda is doing an outstanding job to strengthen, uplift and uphold this profession to support the wider community.
Thomas’ nomination noted: Although Thomas is a newcomer to the peer support sector, you would not think this is the case with his natural ability to connect and build trusted relationships with tāngata whai ora, and his confidence in leading the delivery of tikanga-Māori focussed recovery at Pathways Lower Hutt.
Thomas has been instrumental to the integration of tikanga Māori at Pathways with his karakia, whakataukī sessions and ngāhere outings now commonplace in the centre’s daily activities. Thomas has also founded a growing Tiktok account @deluxehauora where he shares motivational hauora content from a kaupapa Māori perspective to over 5,000 engaged followers across Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook. Although Thomas’ time in the sector has been short, his impact has been tremendous and I have no doubt he will continue to make meaningful contributions to the lives of those he supports.