Susan Turner, Ngāti Hikairo, has been appointed the new Director of ACROSS.
ACROSS is an Anglican, Catholic and Community Support Service providing social work, counselling and foster-care services to families. It is based in Palmerston North.
Susan is married with four children aged 17 years to 39 years. Susan has been a Christian for over 30 years and she attends the Arise Church. Her parents were Catholic and she grew up in a home with strong Christian and social justice values.
She worked initially in policy, operations and service delivery in a number of government organisations but has spent most of her career in the NGO sector.
‘I branched out into the NGO sector over 25 years ago with a vision of making a difference to vulnerable whānau and communities in New Zealand and Australia.’
She attended the London Business School’s Executive Programme in 2009 and completed the Institute of Directors Programme in Australia. She has broad experience in health and social services delivery in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
The highlight of her career was as Chief Executive of the Cape York Hospital and Health Service in Queensland where she worked with remote aboriginal communities to address institutionalised racism and transition primary care services to the control of Aboriginal people.
In recent years Susan has worked in a number of roles focused on addressing inequity. These include involvement with the Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry into Health Services and Outcomes for Māori, gang communities and their transformation, and working with Wesley Community Action on projects involving youth, homelessness and methamphetamine addiction.
‘Working at Wesley Community Action in a Christian environment, doing work that I enjoyed, really consolidated in me the desire to work in a faith-based environment. So when the ACROSS Director role was advertised, I knew that this was the type of job for me and I was fortunate to be appointed as the Director.