Ana Sokratov was one of our pioneers in Māori lived experience leadership. She was part of the inaugural trust board for Te Rau Matatini and a committee member for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
Throughout her career, Ana was involved in key projects, and sector developments which ensured Māori with lived experience had a voice. Her passion was fuelled by the desire to improve services for rangatahi Māori, where she strongly advocated for an increased Māori workforce and Kaupapa Māori services.
I first met Ana in 2000 during a brief placement at Mind and Body while studying the L4 National Certificate in Mental Health, where she was my mentor. In my first week, she took me into the Connolly unit (now Te Whetū Tawera). Ana was confident and strong, and I can remember often transitioning between feeling nervous and in awe of her. She was one of those people whose presence you felt the minute she walked in the room.
When I came began work in the sector in 2009, our paths crossed a number of times, and I gained further appreciation and insight into her incredible leadership and strength.
We have been blessed to have had leaders like Ana pave the way for Māori with lived experience.
To celebrate and acknowledge our Māori lived experience leaders, we will be profiling one each month. If there is a leader you would like to nominate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.