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2002 Chairman’s Award winner announced by RNZFB

2002 Chairman’s Award winner announced by RNZFB

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind presented RNZFB member Carolyn Weston with the 2002 Chairman's Award for her services to the blind community at their annual public meeting this afternoon.

Mrs Weston has worked for the New Zealand blind community as well as dedicating her time, energy and expertise to the wider New Zealand disabled community and the Invercargill community at large.

“Her ability to create new concepts, encourage other people and organisations to work with her to bring vision into reality, shows a great deal of tenacity and drive,” says RNZFB Chairman, Jonathan Mosen.

“It’s always tough picking the recipient but Carolyn stood out from the rest because of her sterling work with the disabled and Invercargill communities.”

Ms Weston has been vision-impaired since birth but has never let her disability stand in her way.

She has served the Foundation for the Blind at branch level since 1977, held positions on the RNZFB’s Board of Trustees and is currently vice-president of the Association of Blind Citizens (ABC).

Not content with helping only the blind, Ms Weston also served at regional level on the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) and was elected as president in 2000 but decided not to stand in 2001 for health reasons.

Instrumental in establishing the Disabilities Resource Centre Southland, Ms Weston gained sufficient funding for the centre after drumming up support from Workbridge and holding public meetings to nurture its inception.

“Carolyn is always looking for new opportunities, always trying to help various groups and societies improve and develop their services,” says Mr Mosen.

Charged with developing a new school for Invercargill Ms Weston, in correlation with 5 other voluntary members, set up Mt Anglem College which opened in 1999 and has since received national awards for being the top form one to seven school in the country.

For her services to the community Ms Weston received the Queen’s Service Medal in 1995 and continues to work in a voluntary capacity with organisations that will transform New Zealand into a country where disabled people will be accepted and respected as contributing members of our society.

“Carolyn exhibits an obvious determination to improve and enrich the lives of other blind, vision-impaired and disabled people living about New Zealand,” says Mr Mosen.

“Her perseverance and creativity are invaluable characteristics that have seen Carolyn spearhead many projects. She is an invaluable member of society and we are pleased to bestow this award on her.”

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