When asked for insights gained through her research on children with a disability, Maree Kirk says, “See the child first!” Maree initially started studying to find ways to best support her 21 year old son Spencer. However, it’s a path which eventually steered her towards an academic career, with her Masters degree focusing on wellbeing for children with a disability in New Zealand.

SPOTLIGHT: Sandra Jones

It’s a memorable image, and a powerful one: Dunedin mum Sandra Jones decked out in an orange fluoro suit holding a large sign reading “crime doesn't pay, caregiving doesn't either" in Dunedin’s Octagon. She was one of the battlers in the struggle for family carers to be paid - something which ultimately resulted in the Funded Family Care payment.