As a parent of 3 adult children, one a 25 year old young adult with special needs, Shelley has been involved with the Disability sector for many years. She comes from a heritage where special needs were part of everyday life with an amputee father and a mother who taught children with challenges in the days before special education even existed.
She has been the Chairperson for the board of Autism Waikato and then the Manager of Autism Waikato for 10 years and is currently on the Board of Trustees for Hamilton North Specialist School for 8 years, the last 6 as Chairperson. She has also been a company director for a co-operative property owners group. These roles give her experience in governance, directorship, leadership, advocacy, business workings and communication.
Shelley has experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), visual strategies, support groups, family support, one on one personal support, has created specialised holiday programs, has sat on the HCC funding Board, helped with the establishment of the Disability Expo and been an advocate for people with disabilities. On a personal level, Shelley has experienced her own journey of physical disability and as such, has years of experience navigating the Health system. She has also experienced the process of gaining Welfare Guardianship and Property management. Shelley is currently studying towards her Bachelor degree in Applied Management.
Shelley has a strong sense of advocacy for those in the community who need extra support, a deep belief that the community is there for everyone and that everyone has the right, not only to access their community, but to feel safe and accepted in every environment.