Susan Hawthorne

Distinguished Service Award Citation for Susan Hawthorne

Ka mahi te tawa uho ki te riri

Well done, you whose courage is like the heart of the tawa tree

Susan does things with distinction.  She completed her Masters in Guidance Counselling with Distinction. She laboured long and diligently on her case study, then three weeks before it had to be handed in, realising it was not up to her standard, Susan promptly ditched it, selected another client and wrote up a new case study and passed.

Substantial contributions to the wider organisation have been made quietly and include being a Council Member for four years holding the Public Issues portfolio. After she left Council Susan was the NZAP representative on the ACC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group (SCAG). This was a time when the ACC sexual abuse counselling services were under threat and Susan, along with her support group, coordinated a strong and effective response to ensure clients continued to receive the help to which they were entitled.

Susan, growing up in Tolaga Bay, has been an impassioned advocate of bicultural understanding and action. She spoke out about biculturalism locally and regularly at the AGMs of our NZAP conferences before the Te Tiriti and Bicultural Advisory Committee was formed. She then became a founding member of the Committee, bringing to the group her sophisticated understanding and experience of biculturalism and respectful relating.

Locally, Susan has been a loyal supporter of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Māui branch for many years. She became our local region’s first representative on Te Tiriti and Bicultural Advisory Committee. She served as branch Convenor for three years and was Conference Convenor of the successful 2010 Nelson Conference. In her low key way she has always attended meetings and encouraged new members – as a supervisor, as a member of local and national interview panels, and as a marker of case studies. For a time she taught at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology on the Counselling course and was valued by the students for her practical experience and ability to bring together theory and practice.

Susan is a woman of integrity, and a feisty advocate for justice. She is not afraid to speak out when she sees unfairness or discrimination. She is, in addition, a loyal friend and a loved and trusted colleague.

The Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Māui branch of NZAP would like to present this Award to Susan for her services to psychotherapy, not only within NZAP but in the wider community.