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Koia kei a koe Jessy Lerm!

Ko Pukehapopo te maunga

Ko Waiomoko te awa

Ko Ngāti Konohi te iwi

Ko Reuben Coffey taku hoa rangatira

Ko Terai mā te ata, Āwhina, Te Pou o te Awa, me Iranui a māua tamariki

Ko Jessy Lerm ahau

What is your role?

I am a Mataora in the Ngā Pae Matarau (FASD) Space. I have been at Te Hiringa Matua for just over 2 years

What do you enjoy about the role?

I enjoy working in an Ao Māori setting. It’s wānanga based, constantly learning, constantly being uncomfortable and adapting to spaces. The thing I like most is being able to see the transitions whānau make as wē walk alongside them in their journey with us

Tell us about Hiringa Matua?

Te Hiringa Matua is a parenting, pregnancy service working with some of our most resilient whānau. I am a Mataora. It is my role to be a “change agent” to help inspire change in a person or whānau. Trying tō help positive change in whānau is a significant part of the kaupapa

How is the work load?

The mahi is hard but definitely rewarding, especially watching the transition take place within each whānau. Some whānau you've been working with over a long period of time and just to see the shift and to watch them now thriving. Very rewarding mahi. The thing I love is that there is no specific way to mahi. We are free to implement our pūkenga with whānau. Although my tohu is in AOD Counselling, I am able to incorporate other practices including rongoā rākau

Yes, tell us about your tohu/most recent achievement?

It was a level 7 Post Grad Diploma in Alcohol and other Drugs Counselling. I am now a registered clinician for the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association Aoteroa New Zealand. (DAPAANZ). We can now offer AoD counselling to whānau at Te Hiringa Matua

Do you have any advice for up and coming Mataora?

If you are thinking about being a Mataora or doing this kind of mahi - come. We definitely need it. It's not about us, it's about the next generation and how we can work to make this a better place for tamariki - not just ours but all tamariki and mokopuna

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about indigensing your space and speaking up for institutional racism. I am passionate about my tamariki being strong in who they are and where they come from

How do you unwind from such big mahi?

Lying down and closing off my mind. Being with my tamariki as much as they do my head in (laughs). Bring back simple things. Because our mahi can be so heavy and pōuri, it’s fun to just be with my babies, muck around, and be a whānau. I also paint on denim jackets as a hobby!

Do you have any inspiring whakataukī that you would like to share?

“If you are a tree, we are a small axe sharp and ready” Bob Marley

I think it means that though things might seem big in life wē can always get through them and conquer anything!

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