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Welcome: Katherine Conaglen

Who am I?

I am a qualified social worker recently graduated from Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Social Work) Degree, delivered at Western Institute of Technology (New Plymouth) under the umbrella of WINTEC, Hamilton.

The following lenses are the way I see the world:
- As a Pakeha New Zealander of Scottish descent; I am descended from a collective culture.
- The Scottish clans were originally extended networks of families (like Maori).
- I see the world through a bicultural lens; biculturalism is the co-existence of two distinct cultures, both Maori and Pakeha within New Zealand society, with the values and traditions of both cultures reflected in our society.

I see the world through a post modern lens, which reflects a worldview that is ever-changing and evolving, nothing is fixed; this philosophy sits well with my own values and beliefs, linking to narrative therapy, via story telling, which is unique to each individual.

I also believe in working from a ‘strengths based approach’ that matches my idea of how the people we walk alongside, share, bravely chapters of their ‘life stories’ with us privileging us with their thoughts and feelings.

I see the world through a feminist lens, which reflects my experiences of role modelling from women from both my patriarchal and matriarchal lineage. These important women in my life instilled in me the view that human service is a pivotal aspect of womanhood and that striving for the well-being of others, will also build on my own well-being.

‘Me aro kit e ha o hinehuone: Pay heed to the dignity and essence of women’.

I see the world through an ecological system’s theory model, which enables me to view individuals within their wider contexts and to understand the relationships between the people and their situation.

Whanaungatanga: Relationship building provides the foundation of my practice.

In conclusion: I reflect on words of wisdom from a tutor from my social work degree:

‘We are like swamp creatures: We are living in uncertainty about ourselves; how we are impacts on others; we need to know ourselves and be willing to recognise our limits, live with uncertainty and live with possibilities which can only be learnt on the job. This is a self-conscious process like a lens looking through our own lens. Be authentic, be genuine….. (D. Younger, personal communication, August 5, 2013).