Bernadette Doube is our current Chairperson: “I have been involved in the disability sector since I worked as a volunteer in a residential school at the age of 14. Throughout my career as a speech language therapist and health sector manager, I have always been passionate about working to support others to reach their potential. As Chair of the Aspire Board I feel I can use my clinical, governance and managerial skills and experience to add value to the people we support by working at a governance level with my colleagues.
I have been a Board Member since April 1996. Having grown up in Hamilton and lived here all my life I am married to Deidre with two children, Dylan and Abby. I have enjoyed my time with Aspire and I believe we have a strong productive Board and that our staff and the people we support are achieving great things. Aspire makes a difference, and that is what makes it worthwhile being part of.
I have been with the Trust since its inception, before the country went down the de-institutionalization programme. It was strongly felt that we could provide better housing and living conditions than those provided in Tokanui Hospital where all our original people came from. We started off with one house that had an attached flat and from there we steadily grew. It is especially pleasing when we actually make a difference to someone's life and I have watched many of our residents develop to heights they may never have dreamt of earlier. Our goal set a few years ago to provide high quality housing has been fantastic and I believe we are probably a leader in the field.
I have been a Board Member with Hamilton Residential Trust / Aspire - Community Support for in excess of 10 years. My personal interest within the sector arises from having a severely disabled brother and recognizing the difficulties encountered for him, and the family, while we were growing up. As my brother moved in and out of institutions during the 70’s and 80’s it reinforced to me that he could have had a far better quality of life than the systems of that day provided and hence this is why I now wish to support the sector through this governance function. It is pleasure to be able to bring my professional business skills and knowledge to support an organization that is making a significant difference in the lives of those people we support.
I have always had a keen interest in the effective functioning of the disability sector as a result of the oversight of a family member who now resides with ASPIRE.
My second stint on the ASPIRE Board started in 2023 after a prior period of service for around a decade which ended a couple of years ago.
Retirement has provided the opportunity to once again support the unsung heroes in our society who devote their lives to looking after others.
My working life has been predominantly in senior management and governance in the public sector, notably between 1999 and 2023 in health. My primary intention at ASPIRE is to ensure the preconditions exist at the Board and with respect to its interaction with the wider environment, to ensure our staff and clients can flourish.
Talofa lava, I am a new addition to the board. My grandad migrated to New Zealand in 1966 in search of a better life for his family in Samoa. His sacrifice provided me with the opportunity to study in New Zealand and I graduated with a conjoint degree in Law and Commerce from Victoria University of Wellington. Having come from humble beginnings, I have always been passionate about serving my community. And at Aspire, we pride ourselves on providing a service which is founded on kindness and makes a difference in people's lives.