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Kia ora e te whānau, my name is Ash Highnam and I am the creator and facilitator of the Māreikura Wahine Toa Workshop with Parent to Parent. I am a single mum to a beautiful autistic girl and together we make a pretty great team. I have a background in social work but also have extensive history of trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), which is where I began my own journey in self-empowerment, growth, healing and understanding.

This is where Māreikura Wahine Toa was born. Māreikura which means treasure or friend came from one of my favourite songs which is about women being pillars of our world and of course wahine toa means strong, brave, warrior or woman. When you put it all together Māreikura Wahine Toa means Wonder Woman.

This program was designed for mothers of children with disabilities, and it is a chance for them to put their focus on themselves, looking at self-empowerment, self care, and well-being, as I am a strong believer in holistic practices. This workshop has been presented all over New Zealand, and the feedback from the women that take part has been very positive. They have been able to take a lot away from it in terms of making themselves a priority and looking at ways they can reduce their load and take time for themselves in a positive way. This workshop has enabled women to connect with other women on similar journeys, and knowing that they aren’t alone. 

Please contact your regional coordinator to express interest in attending this workshop.

It served as a great reminder to think about self – to value others and to respect oneself. I learnt about myself mostly and where I currently sit in terms of self care and self value. What I need to do more of and what things I need to re-balance in my life.

– anonymous Māreikura Wahine Toa participant

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