Civic award to ‘too much’ woman
Carolyn Barrell from Woodville was recognised with a civic award from Tararua District Council at a function in Pahiatua on Friday, November 16. A number of speakers gave glowing accounts of Carolyn Barrell’s contribution to the community.
Carolyn has been involved in organisations in Tararua including Woodville, Dannevirke and Pahiatua and she has been exceptional, said Colleen Cotter.
“In 1986 she began her first job at the Department of Social Welfare, in the Adoptions Unit in Palmerston North. In 1992 Carolyn was appointed manager of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service in Masterton. This position was later expanded to include the Dannevirke office.
“For the next five years she drove from Woodville to Masterton daily for an 8am start, except for Thursdays, when she went to Dannevirke. Every Wednesday afternoon she drove from Masterton to Palmerston North for a management meeting — a lot of travelling. At this time she was an active member of Safer Community Councils in Masterton, Carterton and Tararua, which she chaired in Woodville.
“Carolyn left the managerial position with DSW in 2001 and not long after became Tararua Social Entrepreneur, a position she held for three years based at Rangitane headquarters in Dannevirke. Here she undertook a survey and compiled a local services mapping project which showed how few services there were in Southern Tararua for children, young persons and their families.
“Carolyn collaborated to set up the first Strengthening Families Group, which included a wide range of interesting and diverse volunteers. Richard Wood of DSW in Wellington was so impressed that he used this group as a model and set up 13 other Rural Strengthening Families groups throughout New Zealand.
“In 2003 she facilitated a Pahiatua Community Awareness Forum for the Pahiatua Community Services Trust. She then compiled a new District Services Directory.
“Carolyn also set up the Heartlands Centre in Pahiatua, providing work space for DSW, Work and Income services, counsellors and visiting representatives from IRD, Ma¯ ori Affairs, IHC and the Wairarapa Community Law Centre. Heartlands remains a vital and busy centre today, now in Mangahao Road.
“In early 2006 Carolyn became the Health and Wellness team leader for the Central PHO in Pahiatua. She had also become a trustee on the Pahiatua Community Services Trust around this time.
In late 2007, as a result of the survey and directory she had completed, Carolyn — along with the Trust — was asked by the Social Welfare Ministry’s Family and Community Service to set up Early Years Hub in Pahiatua.
At that time there were no antenatal and post-natal care classes, no parenting courses and little extended care for mothers, babies and their families — especially ‘at risk’ and vulnerable families.
The Early years Service would care for children from conception to 16 years of age.
“Under Carolyn’s direction and with the generous hard work from representatives of Health, Education, iwi, DSW, mayor Maureen Reynolds and our Trust, the Tararua Early Years Service (TEYS) was opened with great pride and fanfare in a new venue in Wakeman Street in May 2008. It became a truly comprehensive service, was well used and was visited by numerous MPs and a Prime Minister.
“Carolyn then resigned as a trustee and accepted the role of manager/ administrator of the Pahiatua Community Services Trust — now incorporating TEYS. She retired from this position in 2017 after almost 10 years.
“Carolyn, in her many positions serving our Tararua communities, delivered her tasks with energy, vision, foresight and passion and none more so than at the Pahiatua Community Services Trust. She was innovative, creative, skilled at assessing tasks that needed to be done and ensuring that they were done on time and to a high standard.
“Her networking and entrepreneurial skills were exceptional, as were her special abilities in policy development and business planning. Her lifetime of service, contributing to the well-being, health and happiness of so many families in our Tararua District and in Wairarapa, is immeasurable,” said Colleen Cotter.
“You have been the ‘right woman for the job,’” said Diane Anderson, Board Member of Midcentral District Health Board. “You have been a ‘woman before your time’ with your ability to recognise need within a community and do something about it. You knew the value of integrated social, health and community wellbeing services and providing them
closer to people’s homes long before the ‘big guys’ in Wellington ever thought about it,” she said.
The Too Much Woman by Ev’yan Whitney was read out in full by Robin Winter from Woodville.
“There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much . . .”
Another accolade came from Social Worker Helena Glover who had worked under Carolyn.
“The moment we met and started getting to know each other, I thought to myself ‘here’s a champion for the cause, a go-getter, a special lady who has a genuine heart, who supported and shared without conditions or judgements and who had huge knowledge about and insight into the social sector and social work profession.’”
The Civic Award evening was interspersed with singing by Sandra Riley from Woodville with cast members from the show Brylcreem, which was written and directed by Carolyn Barrel and ran for four and a half weeks in 1986 at the Woodville Little Theatre.
Mayor Tracey Collis presents Carolyn Barrell with her Civic Award.
Tararua Safer Community Council members met to thrash out their submission on the proposed liquor ban in 2005. From left to right, Julie Johnson, Jeanne O’Brien, Debbie Webster, Carolyn Barrell, Hiria Tua, and Greg Hudson.