A brief history and introduction to Spinal Support NZ activities and Committee Profiles
Spinal Support NZ originally TASC was founded in 1991 by a group of high level spinal injured people as a support group, which has gradually evolved into the present organization. Since 2008 TASC became a registered charity CC23064 and has now built up a vast network of volunteers who with their various experiences are able to offer moral support, advice and information to the new patients in the Spinal Unit. Spinal Support NZ covers the same geographical area as the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit, which is from New Plymouth, Taupo, across to the Eastern Bay of Plenty, up to Cape Reinga.
Spinal Support NZ is governed by a committee. They meet several times each year to advise and give direction to the Society.
Yashmeen has started this year on a part-time basis in the office, working Monday and Wednesdays. Some of you might know her from her previous involvement with Auckland Parafed. Yash is also involved with the Parafed Auckland shooting club as a loader
Kiri is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “I come from an admin background working with large companies. My younger brother was born with Spina Bifida and I have seen his many struggles throughout his life. I hope my work and personal experiences can be of value to this great team!”
Brendan Tourelle has rejoined the TASC committee. He was previously a member starting in 2000 after a ladder fall in 1999 left him a T4 Para. He is also on the Sailability Auckland Committee among many others. Brendan a very keen sailor, and over the years has instructed many people living with a disability the skills they need to learn to sail, many starting their sport in the Sailing Simulator with is setup the Spinal unit Gym. In 2012 he joined the TASC Art Class, which he really enjoys. I am now the Chairperson of Sailability Auckland, The President of The International Hansa Class as well as the NZ Hansa Class Association, Hansa Class is a Yacht Class it is an open class but that many people living with a disability enjoy sailing these boats. I’m also on the disability advisory Committee to Yachting New Zealand. I also really enjoy the TASC Art Classes which is held on a Tuesday Afternoon. This Art Class is a great initiative which teaches many inspiring Artists the skill they need, it’s a great confidence boosted and many of the Artists are learning how to mouth paint, the class has some great camaraderie among the pupils, all help each other. So thank you TASC for being such a positive part of my life.
Sally Wenley became a T12 paraplegic over 30 years ago in a school bus crash. Sally has a degree in English, and a post graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism. Sally is currently a freelance journalist as well as a director on the NZ Occupational Therapy Board and the National Riding for the Disabled Board. Sally also writes articles for newspapers, along with doing book reviews and discussing current affairs on National radio. She has won four national media awards for Radio reporting while working as a journalist at National Radio. She enjoys duck shooting, fishing, travel and having fun with her daughter.
My name is Bradley Watson. I was a patient at the Bairds Road rehabilitation clinic from 2 October 2018 until 10 December 2018 after having an accident on 13 September 2018 and becoming a tetraplegic. My time at the clinic was absolutely mind and life changing and got me ready to face the world as a tetraplegic and treating this as a new adventure rather than a handicap. With this positive attitude in mind I was very excited to be appointed on the committee of TASC. It is very important for me to maximise my new life and to assist others in similar situations as my own to have as much assistance and support as possible to make their lives a pleasure.
My background is in law having been in private practice for 25 years until 2008. Thereafter I have been a Corporate Legal Consultant concentrating more on the business side of Law. I have a very sound knowledge of the Accident Compensation Act and other relevant legislation associated with those with spinal injuries. I believe that this will be invaluable to our organisation by assisting with analysing and interpreting various legislation and draft submissions where necessary with seeking changes for our community. I have also offered my services to the Bairds Road rehabilitation clinic to assist new patients who have difficulty with documentation, to assist them with any problems they have with ACC and with making applications for various kinds of financial assistance.
Dean has been involved with TASC since 2004, He won HNZ 2007 Open Garden award. He has been learning website design for some time and offered his help to develop our website.
Dean immigrated from the UK in 1990 had an accident during a fight at home with a friend in 1997 making him a C4 Tetraplegic. He was a supervisor Gardner and volunteer fireman previously so continued the need to be of some use. He is married to Eleanor and has 2 daughters, they became followers of Jesus in 2004 and hope to be doing His will every day. “Sometime in 2004 Pam Ferguson asked me to help with the TASC website giving me confidence and a purpose so I continued to help nonprofits to get online voluntarily, I now manage a charitable trust that offers nonprofit organizations free website development and coaches the physically and mentally impaired anything using video tutorials see www.itsaccessible.net.nz
Gavin Parish was injured in a motorbike accident in 2006, leaving him a T12 paraplegic. He has been involved with TASC since then. Gavin previously had 35 years’ experience working within the NZ Fire Service. He has completed his Diploma of Counselling at MIT and is now working toward his Bachelor of Counselling.
I’m John Power and was a patient 7 years ago at the Auckland Spinal Unit, following a motorcycle road crash. My wife and I have recently moved from Auckland to Waihi and I’m gradually easing into retirement. My career path included sales and marketing (marine electronics) and latterly managing a Youth Program in Manukau City. I drive using hand controls and will continue to attend Committee Meetings at Bairds Road enjoying the interaction of others and hopefully contributing some ideas of my own.
Juliana Carvalho joined Spinal Support NZ committee in 2018. She was born in 1981 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She was 19, a spinal cord inflammation left her in a wheelchair. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turned this life-changing event into an amazing opportunity for growth and development. Juliana created and presented the Brazilian public television show Make a Difference, which promotes Human Rights and respect for diversity. She is the author of the Comedies of Crippled Life blog and also collaborated with the media group RBS to create the blog No Barriers, addressing topics pertaining to accessibility. She produced and directed the award-winning short film If the Eyes Cannot See, The Legs Cannot Feel (2008) and won the Award for Best True Story from Marie Claire magazine Brazil (2012) for an essay on her sexual rediscovery after becoming paraplegic. Juliana coordinated the first two editions of Movimento Superação (Overcome’s Parade – celebrates diversity, timed to commemorate the International Day of People with Disabilities) in her native state in Brazil. Juliana’s autobiography In my chair or yours? was published by Terceiro Nome in 2010. Her inspiring story made headlines across her native Brazil. Garnering a strong public response, her book sold more than 30,000 copies and has been distributed to public schools throughout the country by the Ministry of Education. Major television networks have interviewed Juliana, and before long she had become a spokeswoman for the inclusion movement. In 2012 Juliana moved to New Zealand to join her mum, brother, and sisters.
Mike has been a TASC committee member since 2011. Prior to his accident, a MVA in Egypt in 2008, he had been a university lecturer, competitive runner, husband and Dad. A T12/L1 paraplegic, Mike completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Theology and Mission in 2011 and has returned to work as a Marketing Manager for cbm. Outside of work he engages with his local community to improve mobility access and is pursuing an active family life. TASC has been a tremendous support in life decisions following an SCI including housing, transport, mobility, exercise, toileting and travel. Mike is thankful for the support of TASC office through his rehabilitation and is keen to see TASC continue to provide support and inspiration to its community