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Refuge Worker “Charitable Person of the Year”



Refuge Worker “Charitable Person of the Year”

The awarding of the Telecom Community Connection Charitable Person of the Year to a long time Women’s Refuge worker has been described as a wonderful tribute to Berill Michelsen and all other Refuge women.

The Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Heather Henare, says Berill’s award is acknowledgement of her selfless service to women and children over many years.

Ms Henare says Berill, from Nelson Women’s Refuge, has made an outstanding contribution and critical difference in the lives of many others.

“We are so honoured and privileged to have someone of Berill’s calibre working for Refuge.”

“Her commitment and dedication never wavers, despite the really difficult and often gruelling nature of the work involved.”

“It was so like Berill when she was told about the award to try to fend off any praise, and say she is just like any other Refuge woman and that they all deserve the honour.”

“Today truly is Berill’s day, but I do also want to take the opportunity to say thanks to all our other workers and volunteers for what they do 365 days of the year.”

Ms Henare says it’s great the inaugural Telecom charitable award has gone to someone working to help victims of domestic violence, as it is one of the most serious issues facing New Zealand.

She has also paid tribute to Nancy Mihaka, from Pounamu Women’s Refuge in Dunedin, who was also commended by the judging panel.

“It’s really good to see a company like Telecom taking a lead in recognising the work done by so many New Zealanders in the voluntary and charitable sector.”


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