I came from a farming family and my respect for animals began at an early age. Even when I was quite young, I just knew that, before the owner or those responsible could have their evening meal or go to bed, all animals had to be tended for the night. Throughout my life, even though I have enjoyed a wide range of jobs, there has always been an animal related role to play, often in a voluntary capacity or at least in the background. I went from involvement with the local branch of an animal welfare charity to a national role and eventually international commitments. I was a member of several government boards/committees in New Zealand and assisted with drafting animal welfare legislation.  I was also involved in the first management plan for the Kaimanawa horses.

It was through all these activities I was awarded the New Zealand Suffragette Centenary Medal and the Queens Service Medal.

One of the more interesting times was a period where I was the International Film Animal Welfare Manager for productions in this southern part of the world for the American Humane Association Film & Television Unit.

I worked on a number of films but perhaps the most notable one was The Last Samurai. Generally, though, it was great working the process necessary and enforced for the words “No Animal Was Harmed …” to appear at the end of a film. I have owned and operated two small businesses. The first, a driving school, was very fulfilling and it was nearly twelve years before I sold it. The twist, though, was that it was probably the only driving school in New Zealand using a station wagon because it doubled easily as an animal ambulance! The other small business I started, owned and operated was an after-hours call centre where I was contracted to the Ministry of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Unit.

This really suited me as often the challenge was deciding if a call was an emergency, whether it could wait till the next working day or perhaps an Investigator needed to be called out. Sometimes people were simply seeking advice. This business only closed, again after about twelve years, when the Ministry decided to take the after-hours operation in-house. I was sorry to see that end. For over twenty years I was a Justice of the Peace and also a Marriage Celebrant but I have now retired from both of these. Again, both very interesting and sometimes challenging. My other interests are in natural and complementary healing.

I am a Reiki Master and a hypnotherapist, believing very strongly that we do not always recognise the power of our own minds when it comes to health, happiness and general well-being. Now, I have graduated with merit from the Proofreading and Editing Course, and my Diploma sits in front of me. I am older than most students but have loved this journey! Let the next experience begin…