Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Working Group Chair
Having worked in Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Australia and New Zealand, and remotely with those imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru, Elizabeth has an in-depth understanding of the issues facing people seeking asylum, refugees, internally displaced and stateless people, and other migrants.
An experienced executive manager with three degrees and many years’ experience in the refugee and humanitarian sector, Elizabeth is a specialist in the areas of refugee resettlement, human rights and asylum issues. Elizabeth has a specific interest in organisational development, community building, policy and advocating for positive change. Elizabeth believes in innovative and modern workplaces that adapt with the times, supporting people to grow and prepare themselves for both their own future, and that of the communities they serve. She has collaborated at all levels of government in both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia to implement change that recognises and respects diversity in its many forms.
Elizabeth is very active in her community, promoting volunteerism and service. She is the loving caregiver to a 16-year-old rangitahi (young person) in foster care with Oranga Tamariki; she sits on community boards and committees and is also Justice of the Peace for Aotearoa New Zealand. In her voluntary role as a JP, Elizabeth is committed to promoting the civic participation of all New Zealanders, in particular those for whom English is not their mother tongue, where accessing Justice of the Peace services can be confusing and challenging.
Elizabeth's personal kaupapa (purpose/values/principles and ideas which act as a base or foundation for action) include social justice, human rights, equality, and equity. It is this kaupapa that has driven Elizabeth to dedicate her professional career and personal life to volunteering and working with refugee communities and displaced people. This mahi/work is extremely important to Elizabeth, feeling more like a calling than a career.