The woman changing lives
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.