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CYFS Manager Wins Top Public Service Award

Child, Youth And Family Manager Wins Top Public Service Award

Child, Youth and Family’s Information Services customer services manager, Sharon Nelson-Kelly, has won a top public service award for women.

A former frontline social worker, Sharon was presented with the inaugural Ria McBride Public Service Management Award by the Prime Minister Helen Clark at a ceremony in Wellington tonight.

The award, sponsored by the State Services Commission and administered by the New Horizons for Women Trust, is open to female employees in the Public Service who show potential to be promoted to high-level management. Up to $12,000 is available to the winner to fund a “second chance” education opportunity that will improve their management prospects.

Forty-three-year-old Sharon, who has Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu affiliations, aspires to be Child, Youth and Family’s first Maori chief executive. She will use the award money to attend the advanced management programme at the Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne.

“This award will enable me to take the necessary step up to meet management challenges that I am seeking. As one of a small number of Maori managers in Child, Youth and Family, I have a sense of responsibility to my tipuna and all tamariki to excel in management to fulfil one of my personal goals of improving outcomes for Maori.”

Child, Youth and Family’s chief executive Jackie Brown says the award is extremely well-deserved given Sharon’s work on a number of internal projects, such as risk management and reviewing the work of the newly established Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

“The department has a disproportionately high proportion of Maori clients. Sharon, with her ability to relate to both Maori and Pakeha worlds, is an asset to our management team, now and in the future, as we seek to improve our services to Maori and all New Zealanders,” says Ms Brown.

 Ten other women received second-chance education awards at the ceremony, while another three women received research awards. Awards in these categories involve grants of up to $2,000.

Besides allowing ten women to return to education, these awards will help fund research on: reducing young women’s exposure to partner violence; how access radio has enabled women to be more vocal in the community; and motivational strategies for women’s educational success.

Media contacts:
Child, Youth and Family - Stephen Ward, national media advisor
04 918 9124 or 029 504 077
New Horizons for Women Trust – Mary Mowbray,

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