Recently graduated local kaimahi working in health

Amber-Lea Rerekura

I was born and raised in Whanganui and went to Whanganui Girls College. From there I studied at the University of Otago in the Dunedin campus for three years, followed by two years at the Wellington campus.

I completed my final year in Palmerston North Hospital as an extension of the Wellington School of Medicine. I recently graduated and am currently working as a 1st Year House Officer at Palmerston North Hospital. My focus for the future is on getting onto the GP training program after at least 2 years as a junior doctor.

I'm still new to the House Officer job but so far I really love it! It's actually quite a fun job with many challenges to keep me on my toes. I always get a buzz when patients are excited to see a Māori doctor and I think it has a really positive impact on their engagement with the health service.

I most definitely will be returning to Whanganui, hopefully as a GP. I think that’s an area where I can make a real difference.

In 2015, in the third and final year of their degree, both Jackie and Tracey (below) were part of a collaborative social worker placement with WDHB's Te Hau Ranga Ora and Social Work teams.
Jackie Nahona

Ruapehu te Maunga
Whanganui te Awa
Atihaunui a Paparangi te Iwi
Kia ora mai tatou katoa

Born and raised in Whanganui, my upbringing
was instilled from the values and beliefs of nga matua (parents), nga kaumatua (grandparents) and whanau whanui no te Awa o Whanganui.

Nurturing, supporting and providing were principles implemented at an early age within the marae, which lead me on my own journey to become a social worker to empower, support, advocate, and guide whanau, hapu, iwi and the wider community in
Whanganui to aspire to their own dreams and aspirations.

Completing the Bachelor Degree in Social Work (Biculturalism in practice) over a two-year period has been an inspiring journey, and has provided an additional lens to the social, cultural and political worldviews of other peoples within the world.

I am employed under the mantle of Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority, as a whanau ora kaimahi and continue to empower whanau to achieving their dreams and aspirations for today’s and tomorrow’s future generations to come.

No reira – Kuamutu toku korero
Tena koutou tena koutou
Kia ora mai tatou katoa.

Tracey Cropp

I was born in Whanganui and raised in both Whanganui and Australia (Sydney & Western Australia).

I attended Whanganui schools Kiwi Street School, Churton School, Rutherford School and Whanganui High School. I also attended some schools in Australia - Dee Why School, Balgownie School, Neutral Bay High School, Governor Sterling High School and Australian Correspondence School.

I have recently completed the Bachelor in Social Work (Biculturalism) Level 7 at Te Wananga Aotearoa in Palmerston North 2015. I was lucky to have 20 years experience working in disability health services and only had to complete two years study towards the three-year degree.

I have been very fortunate as I was already working at Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority (for the past 10 years) and went straight back into my role as a practice supervisor, supporting frontline kaimahi with their practice in the community.

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority has been very supportive of my mahi and education opportunities. At this time I will continue working with our people within our community at Te Oranganui.

Amber Ward

I was born and raised in beautiful Whanganui and attended Wanganui High School. I loved every minute of my schooling and took full advantage of all the sporting and extracurricular activities on offer, which helped me to recognise what I was truly passionate about.

I studied Otago Polytechnic which is an incredible facility right in the heart of Dunedin. I have friends at other universities who have 400+ people in their lectures, where as our average class size was around 15-20. Because of this, we always had access to support from lecturers and our class mates quickly became like family. I have just graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Whakaora Ngangahau) a Degree that is highly regarded throughout NZ and abroad.

I'm lucky to be in a profession I'm so passionate about. In my final few years of school, I found myself really struggling with the decision of what to study at university. It was a career advisor that informed me what Occupational Therapy (OT) was, and that it fitted closely with my values and interests. Shadowing an OT for a day at Whanganui Hospital gave me a realistic and hands on look into the job, I decided I would pursue OT.

I believe I have been blessed with a rewarding, broad and fulfilling career where there is so much potential to benefit and advantage the people we work with.

I came back to Whanganui because growing up here, I always knew I wanted to give something back to the community. My family and friends are here and it will always be home and economically, it’s a great place to be when you are starting out.

Tori Bensemann

I am a born and bred Whanganui and attended Wanganui High School, St Georges and St Johns Hill schools. I studied at and recently graduated from Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin as an Occupational Therapist.

I am so incredibly passionate about OT and believe it is the perfect career choice for me. Occupational Therapists are often profiled as people who get out there and be active, and I believe this suits me to a 'T'. I love to volunteer and get stuck in and involved. I couldn't have found a more suited profession.

Whanganui is a great community and so supportive. In moving back to Whanganui I have a perfectly balanced lifestyle, networking opportunities and my whanau surrounding me.