Ann-Marie – Sector colleague

Anne-Marie was a volunteer for New Zealand Resettlement Services, as well as Refugee and Migrant Services (RMS). In 1992, Anne-Marie successfully applied for the position of Manager at RMS. She held this role until the Christchurch branch closed in 2012. Through this work, she met Judi Bastin, and began collaborating with CRS. When CRS initially got off the ground, RMS was the umbrella group, and the two agencies worked closely together until 2011 when RMS was taken over by Red Cross.

Anne-Marie said the collaboration of RMS with CRS made a huge impact on the community, with the reputation of both organisations becoming so good that Christchurch became the go-to place for resettlement for refugees and migrant background people. Families who had identified issues or needs were often sent to Christchurch because they could be best served by the RMS partnership with CRS.

Anne-Marie says there has been constant camaraderie and support from CRS. She has also loved seeing the teams at both RMS and CRS diversifying, with former clients coming on board as employees, creating “a glorious mix of different ethnicities. It’s been a hugely satisfying thing to have them employed and trained up and going on to much better jobs sometimes.”

Anne-Marie says on the subject of the 30th Annviversary, “Such a milestone, the General Manager and before her, Felicite, they’ve worked so hard to maintain that funding level that they need to continue to operate. It’s a huge job and they’ve maintained support for refugees and migrant women who are both gone in their own ways.”