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IHC celebrates recognition in Queen's Birthday Honours

IHC is delighted that the significant contributions of Donald Thompson, Jan Dowland and Sir Paul Adams have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Donald has been recognised as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Jan as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Both for services to people with intellectual disabilities.

IHC would also like to congratulate Sir Paul Adams on his Knighthood for services to philanthropy and community. Sir Paul served as Chair of IHC subsidiary Accessible Properties from its establishment in 2010 until last year, bringing an insight and commitment to improving the lives of people in social housing alongside his professional leadership.

Donald Thompson and Jan Dowland are two of just 13 living IHC New Zealand Life Members – an honour bestowed by our organisation in recognition of their personally having made a difference to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities living in New Zealand.

“The recognition of the contributions made by Jan and Donald are richly deserved,” says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. “Their decades of service mean they are personally known to thousands, who like me, will be feeling enormously proud at this news.”

Jan Dowland has dedicated her career and time to working for community and health organisations in paid and unpaid roles. She served as IHC’s Chief Executive from 1998 to 2002 and was a panel member on the Confidential Forum for Former Inpatients of Psychiatric Hospitals from 2005 to 2007. She has served as a Trustee and Chair of the Wellington Community Trust and Chair of the Mental Health Commission.

“Jan is an extraordinary professional operator,” says IHC Group Chief Executive Ralph Jones. “But it is the contribution above and beyond the professional roles that we celebrate today.

“She is committed to using her personal time, strategic leadership and influence to improving the lives of vulnerable people and to ensuring the Arts are supported in Wellington and New Zealand.

“People with intellectual disabilities have received the lion share of her voluntary time and Jan is professional and adds a personal warmth to everything she does.

“As one colleague with an intellectual disability said ‘me and my family, we trust Jan.’ “

Donald Thompson has given more than 35 years to ensuring people with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand have the right support to be included in their communities and live good lives. He’s also been heavily involved in the Lions Club.

He has served at every voluntary level of IHC as a member, a Branch President (running local fundraising programmes and events), a member of the IHC New Zealand Council, a Board Member, President and Chair. He has also been a director or Board Member for IHC subsidiaries IDEA Services and Accessible Properties and has been a trustee of the Donald Beasley Institute.

“Donald’s leadership style is gentle and encouraging but firm. He is decisive and has a strong corporate focus that is grounded in the experience of being a family member of a daughter with an intellectual disability,” says Ralph Jones.

“His generosity in sharing his personal experience and time has made a real difference to both people with intellectual disabilities and their families. He has made brave decisions, shared his story, and given others comfort to be able to do the same.”

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