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Introducing our newest board members

21 Feb 2022

The Cerebral Palsy Society’s AGM was held in October 2021 and we welcomed two new board members. 

Due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 alert levels, the Cerebral Palsy Society’s 2021 AGM was held entirely as a virtual meeting.

It was successfully run as a Zoom webinar and members were able to ask questions. 

For the first time, the Society employed the services of an external company, electionz.com to coordinate the voting process for the board member positions.

Their online voting system proved to be very user friendly for our members, and thanks to electionz.com’s generosity, it was also very cost-effective for the Society.

“I’d like to acknowledge the contribution and support received from electionz.com making voting a very easy process,” Cerebral Palsy Society General Manager Clare Williams says.

We’d like to introduce you to the board’s newest members George Hewitt and Katherine Thomas.

George Hewitt

George, 25, is honoured to be serving his first term as a member of the Cerebral Palsy Society board.

“I live with a spastic quadriplegia form of Cerebral Palsy – which I would have to say provides pretty good life experience for this role.”

George grew up on a sheep and beef farm, and studied at Massey University, before heading out on a solo backpacking trip for six months in South America.

“When I grew up, I knew noone else in my community with CP that I could relate to, with the same unique walking gait or disability. Moving up to Auckland changed this. I met others with CP and got to know people with differing disabilities.

“I now see real value in connecting with others with CP, sharing life’s stories, tips and tricks to success,” says George, who works in digital marketing and plays and volunteers for NZ Wheelchair Rugby.

“I hope, through my time on the board, young New Zealanders growing up with CP can see great opportunity in the lives they lead, and be inspired by the fact they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”

Katherine Thomas

Kat is mum to Ella, 8, who lives with CP, and Frankie, 5. She is excited to be on the Society’s board.

“Over the years of learning to be Ella’s advocate and ally I have met an incredible network of families. I hope I am able to return some of the support I have gained in my role on the board.”

Kat has a background in the arts, education community and activism and she is currently completing her doctoral studies in arts as a tool for social change.

She also teaches at Auckland University, and is a drama therapist who used to work for InterAct theatre.

“Through supporting Ella I have gained awareness of how tricky it can be to navigate the systems of health, disability and education. I feel that sharing our story and providing a strong voice for
Ella can in turn help others.”

The Cerebral Palsy Society Board for 2021-2022:

Meg Smith, President
Merryn Straker, Treasurer
Daniel Clay
George Hewitt
Pippa Huddleston
Emma Lovett
Katherine Thomas
Reuben Woods

This article was originally published in the Jan-Apr 2022 edition of The Review magazine.


For more information:
Melanie Louden
Communications Manager
Mobile: 022 087 8191