Jonathon Godfrey is the current Vice President. He is employed as a lecturer in statistics at Massey University where he lives with his wife (also blind) and their one year old son.
Jonathon has served on the board for over seven years and is also a representative on a number of other disability committees and advisory groups.
“I know that some of the success I have gained in life is due to the efforts of the blind people that went before me. I stand on their shoulders and am highly motivated to pull my peers along with me. The Association has made a difference for me and continues to do so now. I know that on my own I can get things sorted for myself, but it is so much easier to get the necessary changes in society if we can continue to deliver our collective message.”
Geraldine rejoined the Board on 10 March 2015. She replaces Brian Say who, for personal reasons, found it necessary to resign. Geraldine will serve the remainder of Brian’s term of office which concludes at the end of Blind Citizens NZ’s AGM and Conference in October 2015.
Shaun Johnson has been involved in voluntary and non profit organisations for about 50 odd years. He believes in Service above Self and puts his money where his mouth is by investing his own time and money towards his voluntary roles.
Shaun counts his board member position with ABC NZ as the most satisfying. “It feels good to be part of a team of like minded people who have worked very hard and are still doing so.” Shaun comments that there are many things the previous Boards have achieved which are now taken for granted. He’s been on the ABC NZ Board since 2008.
Shaun says “If I am fortunate enough to be on this board for some time, I hope I can confidently step up to the mark and do the necessary work and enjoy doing it.”
His recreational interests are music – classical and Jazz (of high quality), Reading – history science quality fiction and arm-chair sport at top level and NOT LEAGUE!
Andrea Courtney has been on the board for over six years and is a life member. One of her most memorable roles on the Board has been as a monitor on the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities’ country monitoring project. A coalition of disabled peoples’ organisations was established to collect information from 100 disabled people to find out the state of Human Rights in New Zealand. This was the first time that disabled people were recruited to perform the interviews. She was also involved in the consultation on the change of coins and hopes to participate in a future change to bank notes.
Having been inspired by a speech by Ruth Dyson about the importance of studying Andrea has gained a National Certificate in Social Services, followed by a Diploma in Arts with an endorsement in Social Policy.
Paula was elected to the Board in November 2013. Paula’s profile will shortly be updated.
On the Board, Martine Abel-Williamson is the World Blind Union Representative which sees her travelling the world to attend meetings to discuss international capacity building in developing countries to improve the lives of fellow blind persons.
Martine works for a local government agency in Auckland as Programme Advisor Disability, so in her work life is quite involved in the systemic advocacy efforts to improve access to the built environment, employment opportunities and services in general. Her qualifications are in vision rehabilitation, social policy and psychology. “In my work life and as a volunteer I live and breathe the cause of improving the lives of blind and low vision persons”.
Martine emigrated to New Zealand from South Africa 15 years ago, is married and has a guide dog called Kosmo.
In her spare time, Martine is involved in the work of the Human Rights Commission, Health and Disability Commission, Auckland Disability Law and the local district health board.
Murray was elected to the Board in October 2014. Murray’s profile will be updated in the near future.