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Johnston to be acknowledged at NZ’s workplace safety awards

Sandra Johnston to be acknowledged at NZ’s workplace safety awards

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 1 May 2018

Crisis intervention and post-incident trauma expert Sandra Johnston will receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards 2018 gala dinner on 30 May.

The winners in each of the competitive categories will be announced at the same time.

Sandra began work as an industrial chaplain more than 30 years ago. She trained with the Australian Critical Incident and Stress Association, and was involved in its transformation into a trans-Tasman body, known as Crisis Intervention Management Australasia (CIMA). She went on to lead the creation of Vitae’s national trauma network.

After the 2011 Canterbury earthquake she organised Vitae’s trauma teams to work in Christchurch on rotation for 22 months, supporting USAR and coronial services among many others. She worked at the coalface of this effort, alongside people from other trauma response groups, with only brief respites to return home to the Bay of Plenty.

Sandra is currently serving as president of CIMA and continues to train members of Vitae’s trauma network, as well as being a trauma responder on its national team.

Awards judging panel convenor Peter Bateman, who is editor of Safeguard magazine, says the judges are delighted to take this opportunity to acknowledge Sandra’s commitment over many years to the field of psychological trauma and supporting the mental health of people at work.

“Sandra has led the development of the field of trauma response in New Zealand and has been at the front line delivering services to working people over more than 20 years. In doing so she has pioneered the significance of mental health at work and has won recognition for the debilitating effects of trauma on health, long after the initial incident.”

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