At this year's DPA AGM, four members were voted in as Life Members: Robyn Hunt (Wellington), Shirley Hazlewood (Taranaki), Gerri Pomeroy (Waikato), and Wendi Wicks (Wellington).

The NEC, on behalf of members, extends thanks to each of these long-standing members for their extraordinary service to DPA and for their tireless work and advocacy for the rights of disabled people.

Robyn Hunt

Robyn was an early member of DPA Hutt Valley Regional Assembly in the 1980s and served in the 1990s as an NEC member. She was active in the Wellington region from 1992.

As part of the NEC, she worked on policies around women’s caucus communications and was a co-signatory with the CE. Along with Anne Hawker she delivered policy and governance training to new NEC members over several years. 

She helped establish DPO and DPA representation with the Bankers Association where DPA still has representation today. Worked with DPA as Policy Manager, at Workbridge from mid-1995, and as a DPA member, helped organise a world conference for Rehabilitation International (one of our international disability affiliations). She helped develop the UNCRPD and worked with politicians to get it ratified in New Zealand.

Robyn gives disability presentations and workshops around accessibility. She is active in the Arts space. She is a former Human Rights Commissioner. Robyn has often represented DPA, helped serve on staff appointment panels and continues to promote DPA and disability rights. Co-founded and runs Disability Clothesline project on violence and abuse of disabled people.

Shirley Hazlewood

Shirley has had well over 20 years of active membership of DPA through DPA in Taranaki. She contributes to disability services and her community by advocating for accessible and open spaces. She has been active in advocating for disabled people by providing feedback to her council and other local authorities.

Gerri Pomeroy

Gerri has been a faithful member of DPA, serving on the NEC as a board member, as well as President.

She continues to advocate strongly for disabled people and disability rights and is a great supporter of DPA’s work.

Gerri is a member of both the National and Waikato Leadership Groups for Enabling Good Lives (EGL). She is also Co-Chair of My Life My Voice – a disabled people's organisation (DPO) set up by DPA and by the central branch of Muscular Dystrophy Association to create an EGL prototype that is disabled led.  

She actively promotes accessible transport and disabled leadership and supports disabled people into leadership roles.

Wendi Wicks

Wendi has been involved with DPA since it was first established in the 1980s.

She has been a member of the Wellington Regional Assembly since 1987 and during that time has served on the DPA National Executive Committee (NEC) from 1994–1999, was the Vice President of DPA Wellington from 1997–1999, Policy and Research Officer from 1999–2013, and was Acting CEO from 2011–2012.

Since this time Wendi has continued to be active in disability representation and promoting disability rights.

Wendi is also one of the co-founders of the Disability Clothesline project that helps disabled people tell their stories about violence.

This year, Wendi was gracious enough to help National Office sort through decades of archives. She has also continued to actively support DPA and its work, for which we are very appreciative.