Our People

The Auckland Women’s Health Council is run largely by volunteers that make up the Executive Committee. The current committee includes two founding members of the organisation; all members are passionate about women’s health and ensuring that there is a feminist voice on women’s health issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Cheryl Hamilton

Cheryl Hamilton is a founding member of AWHC, and has been on the Committee since 1988; she has been the treasurer for many years.

Cheryl began her career as a radiographer before becoming a women’s health counsellor, facilitator and coordinator with Womanline and a women’s consciousness raising collective. Later, she spent more than ten years as a health promotion trainer and executive director of the Health Promotion Forum, followed by a ten years with Auckland Regional Public Health Service where she managed the health promotion – including alcohol, tobacco, nutrition, housing and cervical screening programmes – and health outcomes teams.

During her time with the Health Promotion Forum, Cheryl first advocated for and then led extensive nationwide consultation processes developing health promotion competencies, Nga Kaiakatanga Hauora mo Aotearoa, and TUHA-NZ – a Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa-New Zealand, both key strategies to support the workforce and underpin the practice of health promotion in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Cheryl is a patron and former chairperson of primary mental health and community development organisation Raeburn House, now Hearts & Minds. She is also a former board member of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education, representing the South West Pacific Region.

Pauline Proud

Kia Ora Koutou, I have been an enthusiastic member of the Auckland Women’s Health Council since 2007 as I believe it is essential for women to monitor health issues and services and to advocate for improvements where necessary. My interest developed in the 1980s through involvement in the Auckland Home Birth Association and as a nurse working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at National Womens’ Hospital. Feminist issues around that time included: support for domiciliary midwives, the Cartwright Inquiry, and halting the proposed closure of smaller maternity units in the Auckland region.

Later, volunteer work for the Aotearoa Community Workers’ Association, and management roles with health promotion agencies provided opportunities to advocate for women’s health issues and to develop bicultural policy and personal practice as Tau Iwi and Tangata Tiriti.

I have provided programme and project management for a wide range of NGOs including Alcohol Healthwatch, Gambling Helpline, The Mental Health Foundation and The Werry Workforce Centre for child and adolescent mental health. I coordinated the Metro Auckland Cervical Screening Project, with a focus on increasing appropriate service delivery, access and availability, particularly for Māori and Pasifika women.

Deborah Payne

Tena koe, I joined AWHC in early 1988 and have been an active member ever since. I have been on AWHC’s Executive Committee for the last 15 years.
I became interested in women’s health, patient’s rights, and informed consent from the findings of my MA thesis, which I completed in 1987. My qualitative study showed me how routine hospital practices disempower patients. This coincided with what is now known informally as the Cartwright Inquiry. Its findings and recommendations resonated deeply with me and my desire to work towards change.

I am employed at AUT as a part-time Associate Professor, have supervised multiple Master’s, DHSc and PhD theses. My research focus has been on women with disabilities’ access to and engagement with health services.

Being on the Executive Committee gives me the opportunity to be with other like-minded feminists, to keep up to date on policies and issues and most importantly to lobby on these matters: to ensure that women and other health service users’ voices are heard.

Madeline Heron

Kia Ora. I have been a part of the AWHC executive committee since 2000. I wanted to give back to AWHC after the superb support of the then coordinator Lynda Williams in my preparation for the birth of my son Isaac. I thought my experience as an advocate, educator and researcher at local and national levels in the mental health sector could also benefit AWHC in its work.

I have a Masters (Honours) of Philosophy, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. I believe in the benefits of lifelong learning. I also believe it is vital to include health service user perspectives in shaping health services for the better. I relish the opportunity to work alongside my co-committee members who share with me the passion of progressing women’s health issues from a platform of competence and integrity.

Sue Claridge

Kia ora, I’ve been involved with AWHC since early 2017 am currently editor of the AWHC Newsletter.

I’ve been a health researcher and writer for 20 years, including as a researcher/ writer for breast cancer issues (Breast Cancer Network (2004-2016), and as a member of the Medical Advisory Panel, Sweet Louise (Louise Perkins Foundation) (2008-2010). I have researched and written a number of health books for commercial and non-profit clients, including on melanoma, osteoarthritis, liver and colon health; and in-depth articles, including articles on breast cancer, cervical cancer, environmental hormones/xenoestrogens, and nutrition and health.

In my work for AWHC, my passions are informed consent, patient rights, justice and equity in women’s health, and the ways in which women’s health and well-being suffers as the result of inequities, disparities, and sexism and misogyny in the wider global health and medical environment. Writing submissions that actual contribute to change in the health system in Aotearoa New Zealand is particularly rewarding.

I have worked for non-profits and NGOs in a wide range of roles in both voluntary and paid capacities, and believe that my involvement in AWHC is an important opportunity to make a difference to the health and well-being of women.

Katie Palmer du Preez

Dr Katie Palmer du Preez (Research Fellow, AUT) is a social researcher and academic working in the gambling and addictions and women’s health fields. Her work explores the influence of culture and society on individual choices, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as well as connections with issues of public health policy and practice, and more specifically in the use of feminist, social constructionist, and discursive theory and practice in describing and researching health and well-being questions. Katie’s involvement in the women’s well-being sector also include board membership of the Auckland Women’s Centre.

Specialties: Qualitative research methodology, research project management, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, research relationship building, community consultation and engagement in health research. Katie has been a member of the AWHC Executive Committee since 2014.