QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: Serving the community

By Roger Moroney

Kathleen Egan - QSM  Services to the community.

Kathy Egan's workmates at the Napier Family Centre were likely to be raising a toast to their colleague today, although she was unlikely to be able to join them in time.

Mrs Egan has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal but a congratulatory call to her, and for a few words of reaction, resulted in being told she was away.

Quite some way away ... as in Nashville in Tennessee.

She has been in the US visiting family and is due back in the country today, which is fitting given it is Queen's Birthday.

A scan through her remarkable CV shows Mrs Egan is well used to being occupied when it comes to her devotion to people in the community who are finding things tough.

Staff at the centre were understandably delighted when they heard the news.

"It is fabulous. Absolutely wonderful," finance and administration manager Wendy Tavendale said.

"She is such a wonderful person and she has built the centre up from day one."

Mrs Egan was a founding member of the Napier Family Centre in 1983 where she worked as a counsellor and social worker.

The centre grew and she was appointed co-director in 1996.

During her time as a co-ordinator the centre's services have expanded to include a full range of counselling, home-based childcare, early childhood education, budget advice, youth services and parental education.

"Kathy has always been so passionate about her work, and she is as passionate about it today as she was at the very start," Mrs Tavendale said.

Mrs Egan started an anti-violence group in association with the family Court and Police, and it had since developed into the DOVE social services agency.

She helped set up the Napier Food Bank, has been involved with the District Health Board's ethics committee, served as a chairwoman for the Napier branch of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors and on the board of Sacred Heart College.

She was also on the committee of the Hawke's Bay Domestic Violence Intervention Project.

Her devotion goes well outside working hours.

She has at times opened her home up as temporary accommodation for abandoned and disaffected teenagers, teaching them life skills.

Her QSM adds to the Napier Pilot City Trust Award she received last year.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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