30 March 2016

‘Inspirational leader’ leaves Parent to Parent

Anne Wilkinson, the longstanding chief executive of Waikato-based, national social services agency Parent to Parent, is leaving the organisation after 12 years at the helm and 25 years of involvement.

anne media release

Anne has played a huge part in the development of Parent to Parent which provides support to families who have a family member with disabilities and / or health impairments.

As chief executive, Anne built on the work of predecessor Shirley Wass as Parent to Parent developed from a small group formed by a few parents and professionals in 1983 to a nationwide organisation with 28 staff and 600 volunteers.

Her work is widely known in the disability sector. For Parent to Parent, her roles included local coordinator for nine years and national services coordinator for four years before taking on the chief executive’s role in 2003.

Anne says she’s loved Parent to Parent and it’s been a big chunk of her life “but it’s just time to do something new”.

“To have been able to work in my area of passion has been amazing,” she says.

“The growth has been huge but has been a team effort. I’ve worked with some amazing people, staff and volunteers. I’m still very passionate about my involvement in the disability sector and will continue to be involved.”

In addition to Parent to Parent, Anne is a member of Enabling Good Lives’ Waikato and National Leadership Groups and she hopes to continue with this work.

Parent to Parent national president Helen Johnson says Anne has been an enormous contributor to the disability sector, is widely respected and has been instrumental in forming the many partnerships so important to Parent to Parent.

“The reason we’ve grown and been as successful as we have is because we work so closely with other organisations.“

Anne’s leaving us in fine fettle with the incredible growth we have achieved and the fact that we are able to offer support to so many more families.

“Her final act as chief executive has been to recommend the appointment of a change facilitator to help bed in new systems and structures to reflect the size of the organisation that now exists.”

“She is an incredible lady, an inspirational leader and a role model to everyone in the sector.”

Among her many other roles outside Parent to Parent, Anne was a member of the Ministry of Health New Model National Reference Group, she is a former Community Living Trust board member and was responsible for helping to set up the Autistic Association in the Waikato and holiday programmes No Limits.

Anne’s last day with Parent to Parent was March 18.

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