By Petrina Wright | Posted: Monday November 28, 2022
Presbyterian Support Southland (PSS) has welcomed full-time Pou Tohutohu Ahurea Māori - Cultural Advisor Michelle Ryland into the role, marking a new step in the charitable trust’s cultural journey.
Michelle started in the role on November 17, and the occasion was marked by a Mihi Whakatau. Previously, the role had been part-time, with PSS to be the first of the seven Presbyterian Support charitable trusts across the country to develop it into a full-time role.
PSS chief executive Michael Parker said Michelle’s appointment was a significant and important step on PSS’ cultural journey.
“The 2021 Strategic Plan provided an initial starting point to strengthen the cultural advisor role, which has now progressed from part-time to a full-time Pou Tohutohu Ahurea Māori senior leadership position.
“This commitment provides Michelle, alongside the senior leadership team and Board, with the mandate to support a ‘whole of organisation’ development pathway towards partnership in line with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Building the relationships between local runaka and PSS in a way that offers choice to people seeking support and receiving the right response is the goal,” Michael said.
Michelle’s background is in education, including work with special needs students, as well as time spent in private business.
As part of the senior leadership team, Michelle will work across Family Works, Enliven and PSS’ central office. Michelle will also represent PSS on Te Kahui Rangitira (National Presbyterian Support New Zealand Roopū of cultural advisors).
PSS is a charitable trust which has been operating for more than 100 years, and provides a range of health and social services in Southland through its service arms of Family Works and Enliven.