Ko Hikurangi me Mākeo ōku maunga
Ko Waiapu, ko Waioeka, ko Waiaua ōku awa
Ko Tama-o-ta-Puhi, ko Hinerūpe, ko Waioeka ko Ōmarumutu ōku marae
Ko Ngāti Korowai, ko Ngāti Ira, koNgāti Rua ōku hapū
Ko Nukutere me Mataatua ōku waka
Ko Ngāti Porou, ko Ngāpuhi, ko Ngāi Tūhoe, ko Te Whānau a Apanui, ko Te Whakatōhea ōku iwi
Ko Erueti Pohoiwi rāua ko Waitai Mokomoko Kora ōku mātua
Ko Muriwai, ko Tūtamure, ko Porourangi, ko Mokomoko, ko Hakaraia, ko Toikairākau ōku mātua tīpuna
Ko Gloria Pohoiwi Sheridan tōku ingoa, nō Te Tai Rāwhiti ahau
First and foremost, I am Māori. I am a wife, a mother of four young adult children and a grandmother. I acknowledge my ancestral beginnings and culture, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and I have many kaitiaki (guardianship) responsibilities. I am a member of Te Kete Pounamu National Māori consumer voice and a Mataora of Mahi-ā-Atua in practice, which aims to promote an indigenous approach when working collaboratively with Māori and others. I am a strong advocate for change in terms of justice and equality and not afraid to challenge stigma, discrimination, derogatory language, institutionalised racism and unconscious bias for whānau with experience of mental distress.
Having my own personal lived and whānau experience, I am certainly no stranger to being dictated to around how to live according to someone else’s ideology. Emancipation for me comes not from a space of deficit but recovery as I embrace Mātauranga Māori and Te Ao Māori. I am a peer support worker, and I advocate for people with mental health and addiction issues. I am deliberate in encouraging whānau to realise their potential and support whānau to be courageous in leading their recovery journey while promoting feedback-informed-treatment within clinical spaces. Here, the notion of kaitiaki in practice allows a quality of space to explore, authenticate and validate the origins of whānau unique perspectives or worldviews.
As a member of Te Kete Pounamu, the opportunity to amplify the voice of Iwi Māori and their communities to influence significant change at a national level, allows a space to weave thought, words and pathways built on Māori ideology.