May 2014: Bobby explains “it’s using self determination as a means to motivate whānau to overcome obstacles and deal with the challenges they face.”
“Whānau ora is dreaming the dream and then living it”, she says thoughtfully.
As a paeārahi, a Te Arawa Whānau Ora navigator, at Te Waiariki Purea, Bobby’s job entails walking alongside whānau, and supporting them to create future pathways. This is done by identifying where whānau are at in terms of the skills and abilities they already have.
Whānau are then posed questions that help them reflect on what the future may hold for them in 10 years time and where they see themselves. An action plan is then formulated from this to help set achievable steps resulting in achievable goals.
Bobby, who is originally from Manutuke, Gisborne has always been passionate about supporting whānau, before working at Te Waiariki Purea she was a whānau facilitator and primary school teacher and has a Bachelors in Teaching and a Bachelors in Performing Arts (Music). She is also a committee member of the Rotorua Musical Theatre and has an upcoming role in the Tony Award winning musical HAIR.
When we asked Bobby what she loves about her mahi, she says, “Meeting new people and being privileged to hear the stories of whānau. This puts things in perspective for me and honestly I can’t complain because the heartache and struggles whānau face really humbles me. My heart goes out to what whānau have to deal with and how they deal with it blows me away.”
“Whānau Ora is an amazing concept that is transformative. The ideal of whānau achieving dreams and having the guidance to do it breeds success,” says Bobby, who adds “I absolutely endorse this kaupapa and am so fortunate to work in this mahi. It doesn’t feel like a job at all, it’s an opportunity to aspire and inspire.”