Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

New Year Honours: Diane and David Broderick QSM

Diane and David Broderick with David Sullivan, 19, and a baby they're looking after. Photo / Supplied
Diane and David Broderick with David Sullivan, 19, and a baby they're looking after. Photo / Supplied

Queen's Service Medals,for services to the community.

Most parents sometimes feel they deserve a medal for raising their children, so it seems fitting that Diane and David Broderick should have one bestowed on them by the Queen.

The Manawatu couple have fostered about 150 children during their marriage because, says Mrs Broderick, "there's lots of children out there who could do with love and a home".

Both today receive the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

Mrs Broderick said the medal was a real honour and entirely unexpected. "We just work away and never expect anything like this."

They started fostering children for Child, Youth and Family 34 years ago, even before they'd finished having a family of their own.

"We've both just got a passion for children so we thought that rather than just keeping on having children" Mrs Broderick said.

Most of the children are with them for only a short time until they go to a permanent home, but some stay for longer, including David Sullivan, 19, who came to them when a baby.

Mrs Broderick trained as a paediatric nurse, enabling her to provide the care required for babies with health issues.

The couple helped to establish social services organisation the Open Home Foundation in Wanganui in 1983 and Palmerston North in 1985.

They also set up a health clinic at Himatangi.

- APNZ

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