E rere kaumai te awa nui mai te Kahui Maunga ki Tangaroa, Ko au te Awa, Ko te Awa ko au. As the river flows from the mountain to the sea, I am the River and the River is me.
Born and raised in the Whanganui area in Aotearoa (New Zealand), from the Atihaunui-a-Paparangi tribe also known as the River people. Carwyn was fortunate to be raised by her grandmother and her peers. Her upbringing was rich in language and culture which gave her a strong sense of connection and understanding of who she is, where she comes from and where she belongs. This way of life gave Carwyn many opportunities to develop her skills in caring for people and set the foundations for the community work she would undertake in the future. Carwyn has many roles within her family, a Mother, Grandmother, Aunty, Sister, Cousin, Granddaughter, Niece and occasionally a spokesperson.
Carwyn’s family are strong advocates for land rights and social justice. They are activists who gave Carwyn an early understanding to the existence of systemic discrimination and racial profiling. This led to Carwyn studying education, health, social work and eventually community development. Carwyn started her working career within Kohanga Reo-Early Childhood language centres and then moved into Family Support work, Indigenous health and program development with first nations people.
These roles have provided Carwyn with lifelong learning and many occasions to be of service to the communities she lives and works in. She has a passion for supporting others to live their best lives and believe in self-determination and person led servicing. She enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds and different cultures. The learning is rich, varied, challenging at times and definitely life changing.