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Rosealee Wells works for community group Shine, which is situated at the North Shore Policing Centre in Mairangi Bay. She has a postgraduate degree in Psychology and has worked as a Youth Worker in both the North Shore and South Auckland, and volunteered as a telephone counsellor for Youthline. Rosealee has always had a sense of community and felt strongly about feminism and that’s what attracted her to her current role at Shine, where she has the opportunity to educate women about relationships and advocate against violence.
Courtney Bennett: Explain to readers what Shine is all about? Why is it situated at the police headquarters?
Rosealee Wells: Shine is about supporting victims of domestic violence, both women and men. However, because the large majority of domestic violence victims are women, I mostly work with women.
Shine provides advocacy and connects people with supports, including counselling, safety upgrades and other necessary services like Child, Youth and Family, Police and lawyers. Our most important role is to help increase the safety of our clients and their children. We also have a national helpline, a No Excuses men’s stopping violence programme, provide education to professionals and have a Kidshine programme working with children who have witnessed domestic violence. I work remotely at the North Shore Policing centre, it is an innovative and collaborative way of working. It enables Shine to be on the pulse of what’s happening with our clients, enables me to respond quickly to referrals, access necessary safety information and offer education to other professionals about the complex dynamics of domestic violence. We also have other advocates located at Child, Youth and Family and a Family Works worker at our main office.
CB: What does your day to day job involve?
RW: My job involves responding to crisis, which means that everyday is different. I attend call outs with the family violence Police officers where I offer support beyond the capacity of what Police can offer. I make contact with victims from police reports and offer first-aid safety advice, deliver Ministry of Justice safety programmes for people with protection orders. The programmes allow me to work with clients on a more long-term capacity to ensure safety, work on boundaries, assertiveness, confidence and educate people about domestic violence, what is involved in reporting a breach of the protection order and any upcoming related needs of the client.
CB: Have you always been involved in the community?
RW: I became involved with the community while I was at University studying towards my psychology degree. I wanted to gain experience beyond my academic study and apply what I had learnt to a community setting. Personally, I value giving my time and skills, engaging people and where possible helping others.
CB: If you could have one wish for Christmas, what would it be?
RW: That everyone has the opportunity to feel safe and uninhibited by the actions of others. No one deserves to feel fearful of another individual.
CB: Why is it important that we have organisations like Shine in the community?
RW: Shine provides an amazing service, without such services victims of domestic violence would be alone and it would be harder for them to access specific safety information. Everyone at some point needs support, especially if you have experienced constant manipulation, fear, put downs, financial abuse, physical or sexual violence. It puts people in a very vulnerable position where support is essential.
CB: How can the North Shore community help Shine?
RW: North Shore locals can make donations via our website and specify that you want the donation to support people on the North Shore. Because Shine is not fully funded we currently only have the capacity to help one out of every four referrals we receive. It is awful to think that others miss out on the service due to a lack of funding.
CB: What other community groups or charitable organisations do you admire and why?
RW: I really admire the work of the Red Cross providing aid to Syrian refugees amidst a time of their absolute desperation. I think that New Zealand needs to do its bit, acknowledge our privilege as a western nation and dramatically increase our refugee quota. I also admire charitable organisations in India that aim to prevent female infanticide. India has one of the highest population disparities between men and women partly due to high rates of female infanticide. Such organisations educate people in rural communities and provide practical support to poorer families when a female is born. They provide the family with means to create a livelihood by providing them with coconut plants and a goat to support the family and generate an income.
CB: What do you like most about working in Mairangi Bay?
RW: I like the accessible views of Rangitoto. I have always enjoyed being in nature and after a hard day at work it reminds me of the beauty in the world that unfortunately dealing with violence on a daily basis is often lost.
CB: Anything you feel we could better as a community?
RW: I think the community does a good job at calling the Police but please if you see someone being verbally abusive to a partner, someone taking advantage of someone who is intoxicated or being physically abusive, please step in if it is safe to do so or call the Police. We are all apart of the same community and our actions effect others.
CB: In my next life, I am going to come back as…
RW: A world leader and make serious changes to policy that works towards equality and redistributing concentrated wealth of others to people in need.
For more info about the work that Rosealee does, take a look at www.2shine.org.nz
Channel Magazine: Issuu 61 December 2015 January 2016