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Workbridge, Where abilities equal employment


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Debbie Ward - President

(for Corporate Member DPA)

Debbie has lived experience of disability and is committed to seeing disabled people being leaders of their own lives.  Debbie grew up in Hastings, the fruit bowl of New Zealand.  With the support of family and strong allies she has overcome barriers to have the same rights to education, employment and recreation as other New Zealanders.  This has given Debbie a passion to advocate for disabled people to be valued and contributing members of society.  

 Debbie has had 30 years' experience working in the Disability Sector and has a particular interest in seeing diversity and inclusion in Workplaces.  She has seen the change on the emphasis for employers about the value and benefits to having a diverse workforce.  Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in New Zealand workforces.    

 As Workbridge Council President, Debbie is committed to supporting Workbridge to dispel the myths and assumptions about employing disabled people. Along with the commitment to prepare a talent pool of workers that are ready and waiting to be employed. 

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Barbara Burton

(for Corporate Member Business NZ)

Barbara Burton works in the areas of employment law, contracts, human rights and diversity. A published author on employment-related matters and employer representative on the former Labour Court.  She contributes to international bodies representing employers, including the International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) of the OECD of whose Employment Labour and Social Affairs committee she is a member. She is a former member of the National Advisory Committee on the Employment of Women and has a long-standing interest in disability issues.

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Michael Aldridge

(for Corporate Member People First NZ Inc)

Michael Aldridge has been a member of People First NZ for over 20 years.  Formerly Michael was Chairperson for the National Committee and is currently the President for the Nelson Group.  Michael has been on the Workbridge Council for one year and lives in Nelson.

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Lance Girling-Butcher

(for Corporate Member Kapo Maori Aotearoa NZ)

Lance Girling-Butcher is the Kapo Maori Aotearoa representative. Lance lost his sight in 2006 when he was forced to resign as editor of the Taranaki Daily News. After learning to read and write he served two years on the New Plymouth District Council. He now serves on a number of organisations working for or with the aged and  disabled. 

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Jacinta Tevaga

(for Corporate Member Vaka Tautua)

Jacinta Tevaga provides Disability Information Advisory Support Administration at Vaka Tautua Limited in Manukau, Auckland, and is the DIASS representative for Ministry of Health Disability Consumer Consortium.  Jacinta is also Chair for  Tofamamao-the Auckland Collective Disabled, carers and their families Pacific group, and is a Trustee Board Member for Taikura Trust. Jacinta has a passion to promote conventions on the rights of person’s with disability and influence change in government and health sectors through out New Zealand in the way we support, acknowledge and  celebrate diversity.

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Chrissy Fern

(for Corporate Member Blind Citizens NZ)

Chrissy Fern has lived experience of low vision and variable health. She has been a previous client of Workbridge, and is currently a Board Member for Blind Citizens NZ. Her paid and voluntary employment roles have included administration and educational support, in schools and community organisations.  Chrissy has a passion for advocating on behalf of those who may not have the capability or confidence to do so for themselves. She has a special interest in the employment challenges facing those who live in rural areas. Her aspiration is that all people with disabilities will be enabled to experience equal opportunities in employment.

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Lisa Archibald

(for Corporate Member PeerZone Ltd)

Lisa Archibald from PeerZone Ltd is a proud Scot who has been involved in lived experience leadership initiatives, mental health service management and delivering peer support and suicide prevention training in various countries since graduating from university in 1999. 
Lisa was a UK Winston Churchill fellow in 2013, researching mental health discrimination in communities. This led her to travel to and subsequently relocate to New Zealand with her two daughters. In 2019, Lisa became a Yale University Let(s) LEAD fellow as part of the New Zealand cohort.

Lisa brings her own personal experiences of mental distress and her diverse work experience to this mahi.

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Lisa Oakley

(for Corporate Member HRNZ)

Lisa Oakley Bcom, PGdipBusAdmin, MMgmt, CFHRINZ, CAHRI is a Board Member and National Vice President of HRNZ, General Manager People and Culture for Blind+Low Vision NZ, and Director of Love Your Work NZ.  Lisa has 15+ years' experience in Human Resources in large scale service environments in a range of industry sectors and is currently studying towards her GradDip in Occupational Health and Safety and Professional Coaching Qualification through Coach Masters Academy. Lisa is passionate about providing leadership and support for people and culture best practice. This includes promoting diversity and inclusion of all types and in all levels of an organisation to maximize engagement and achieve high performance results. 

Lachlan Keating's profile photo

Lachlan Keating

(for Corporate Member Deaf Aotearoa)

Lachlan has worked in the disability sector for more than 17 years, firstly in Australia for Wesley Mission Brisbane, and since early 2006 at Deaf Aotearoa. Initially working in Christchurch as an employment consultant, Lachlan progressed to the roles of South Island Regional Manager and then General Manager – Community Development, before being appointed as Chief Executive in 2012.

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