The woman chang­ing lives

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Jacqueline Wilton talks about new Ki­wis and how she helps change lives.

Jacqueline Wilton’s work is lit­er­ally life chang­ing.

As the Porirua man­ager of English Lan­guage Part­ners, she works with refugees - or new Ki­wis - to help them learn English.

It’s not just the lan­guage Wilton and her team help with, they’re ad­vo­cates and pas­sion­ate sup­port­ers of any new Kiwi, she said.

We caught up with her to ask her about what she loves, what she’s scared of and who would be on the guest list for din­ner.

What’s the best part of your job?

I work in the most amaz­ing multi-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment and so get to learn and ap­pre­ci­ate other cul­tures and per­spec­tives.

The other great thing is see­ing peo­ple gain­ing con­fi­dence and de­vel­op­ing skills for their life in their new coun­try.

What’s the worst?

The worst is reg­u­lar ex­po­sure to some of the nasty stuff go­ing on out in the world.

Refugees have been through ab­so­lute hell and what we see on tele­vi­sion is not the half of it. So many of them have been tor­tured and dis­cussing that with them is im­por­tant.

What would peo­ple be sur­prised to know about you?

I dropped out of high school at age 15 and went to work in shear­ing sheds and then gold mines in Aus­tralia.

Af­ter trav­el­ling I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

I’ve been in­formed I dance around the house like a ‘‘mad woman’’ when the song ‘‘Free Nel­son Man­dela’’ can be heard.

How do you re­lax?

Read­ing, gar­den­ing, catch­ing up with friends, and most im­por­tantly hang­ing out with, and be­ing en­ter­tained by, my teenage daugh­ter.

Where can we find you in the week­ends?

If I’m not on the couch read­ing, I tend to be hang­ing out at some of the fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity events here or catch­ing up with friends and fam­ily.

If you could in­vite three peo­ple to din­ner, liv­ing or dead, who would they be and why?

The Dalai Lama, he has peace­ful wis­dom which I could learn from; my Dad, be­cause he passed away too soon and was a good laugh; and Nel­son Man­dela, be­cause he was coura­geous enough to fight for his be­lief and I re­spect that.

If you could have one su­per power what would it be? Why?

To be able to enure ev­ery­one gets treated equally. If that hap­pened it would over­come other is­sues like ter­ror­ism, war, poverty and star­va­tion.

What scares you?

The preva­lence of dan­ger­ous drugs in our so­ci­ety.

Have you made a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion? If so, what is it?

I will at­tach the at­tach­ments to my emails.

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