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SDHB Appoints General Manager Maori Health

SDHB Appoints General Manager Maori Health

Southland District Health Board (SDHB) has appointed Dion Williams as the General Manager of Maori Health, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Gershu Paul announced today.

The newly created position will report directly to the CEO, providing strategic advice to the CEO and the Board, leading consultation with community groups, and coordinating the provision and operation of Maori Health services to the region.

Mr Williams is of Ngai Tahu descent and grew up in Southland. He joins SDHB with a wealth of experience in the Maori sport and recreation sector, promoting active participation in Maori communities.

Mr Williams has a Bachelor of Physical Education from Otago University and a Primary Teaching Diploma from the Dunedin College of Education.

In 1997 he joined the Ngai Tahu Development Corporation in Christchurch working as Executive Assistant to the CEO and then as Social Service facilitator, before transferring to Invercargill in 2000.

In July 2001 Mr Williams started work for Te Runanga O Awarua as Project Manager for the Stronger Communities Action Fund (SCAF) - a government contract through Child Youth and Family Service (CYFS), piloted throughout New Zealand to support the re-growth of small communities.

He became a Community Trust of Southland Trustee in 2001.

Since June 2003, Mr Williams has been the Project Manager for the Active Southland Communities project at Sport Southland, developing and delivering local community sport and active leisure participation programmes.

Mr Williams says it was the challenge of the health sector and his commitment to the Maori community that attracted him to the position.

“My passion for Maori Health and the chance to develop this newly established position was the opportunity I had been looking for” he says.

A member of the Southland Rams Rugby League team since 2001, captaining the side in 2003, he has also played Maori Rugby for Otago, Canterbury and Southland senior teams in recent years.

Mr Williams is married and has a son.

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