I think it is a privilege to be trusted by my clients...
My working background began training as a nurse in Edinburgh, Scotland, qualifying in 1985. I looked after the first HIV/AIDS patients that were diagnosed in Edinburgh and continued to work in this specialised area on and off between 1985 and 1998.
I arrived in NZ in June,1998. I was one of the HIV Clinical Nurse Specialists at Auckland City Hospital from 2004-2011. It was during this time that I decided to train as a Counsellor and completed a PG Diploma in Counselling at the University of Auckland at the end of 2010. In 2011 I commenced Advanced Training in Sex Therapy through The Goodfellow Unit at The University of Auckland and completed this early 2013. I also have nursing experience in Primary Health Care and Sexual Health.
While training as a Counsellor my student placement was at the Burnett Centre for two years. This placement allowed me to work with people affected by HIV in a different way to nursing and I realised that working with NZAF was somewhere I could use all of my HIV, Sexual Health and Counselling experience and make a difference to clients both with and without HIV. My dream job.
I have worked with all the communities that are affected by HIV in NZ. What I love about my role as a Counsellor is the therapeutic relationship that I build with each of my clients and watching them "grow" during our work together. I think it is a privilege to be trusted by my clients with the personal information that they share with me.
I see my role as providing a non-judgemental environment to work with people at risk of contracting HIV infection through support and education, working with newly diagnosed clients to help them accept the impact that this chronic illness will have on their lifestyles and their partners/families (whānau). Educating the wider community about HIV infection is also an important aspect of my work with NZAF.
I really enjoy the challenges that my role offers me and the opportunity to use all of my working knowledge with clients.