Maori health student rewarded
Thames man Turaukawa Bartlett has been named Maori Trainee of the Year at the 2017 Careerforce Workforce Development Conference held in Wellington this month.
Bartlett was among 33 people to graduate with the inaugural wave of Health and Wellbeing Apprenticeships, launched in 2016 by Careerforce, the industry training organisation for the health and wellbeing, youth work and cleaning industries and disability sectors.
He was excited to be named winner.
‘‘Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini,’’ he said, which translates to ‘‘My success is not just my own’’ in acknowledgement of the role played by his wha¯nau.
When his son was diagnosed with autism at 18 months, he and his wife moved back to New Zealand and made the decision to take a new direction together. While his wife studied to become a counsellor, Bartlett worked towards completing his apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addiction Support.
He said his son, now seven and non-verbal, is reaping the benefits of thier choices.
‘‘I hope my training will allow me to make an impact beyond my immediate family, and help wha¯nau overcome struggles with addiction,’’ he said.
‘‘There is always a better a day to come. It might take a bit of hard work but it will come.’’