HomeWho Are WeOur StoriesMeet Georgina
HomeWho Are WeOur StoriesMeet Georgina

Meet Georgina

Georgina Peterson is one of the amazing Family Support Coordinators who helps families in the Auckland and Northland regions throughout their experience with childhood cancer.

Georgina Peterson is one of the amazing Family Support Coordinators who helps families in the Auckland and Northland regions throughout their experience with childhood cancer.

Before joining Child Cancer Foundation, Georgina had spent most of her career working in health education in Kaitaia. This extensive background, paired with her warmth, empathy and fantastic sense of humour, makes her the perfect person to support whānau.

 

What made you want to be a Family Support Coordinator at Child Cancer Foundation?

A former colleague of mine had a daughter who had cancer. She was my inspiration behind applying for to be a Family Support Coordinator. Seeing what my friend and their whānau went through made me want to support families through their journeys.

 

What fuels your passion for your work?

Being able to support families through the most difficult time of their lives. I feel fortunate that Child Cancer Foundation is able to support these families in a way that is very unique.

 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Making contact with families after their initial diagnosis. It’s such an overwhelming time for families, as they are being bombarded with different services and meeting multiple nurses, doctors and other specialists within the hospital. I can understand why some families are not interested in making contact when we initially reach out.

 

What makes you the right person to support the children and families you work with?

I feel it’s my caring nature, and working in such a way that means I don’t judge families. I take a cultural lens to my work ethic. Aroha is the framework I base my everyday interactions on. I love children too, and it’s a privilege to meet them all.

 

How does your Māori heritage influence the way you support families?

When I visit families, I think about the Whare Tapa Whā model by Mason Durie. He talks about the four pou/pillars of health: taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing), taha hinengaro (mental/emotional wellbeing), taha tinana (physical wellbeing) and taha whānau (family wellbeing). Each pou needs to support each other for overall wellness. When families talk to me about the support they may require, it helps me to know that we aren’t just looking at one specific need – rather that the support will encompass several areas of wellbeing for whānau.

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu – Even though it is small, it is precious. This is one of the whakatauki that guides my work, as it relates to children – they are small but oh so precious, like pounamu.

 

How do you maintain a good work/life balance?

Three of my four adult children are currently living at home with me, so there is always plenty of action going on around my household to give me that balance between work and home. I also have a new grandbaby, so he’s definitely going to help keep that balance!

My family completely support me in my role. They understand the difficulties for families as they were all there alongside their paternal grandmother when she went through her cancer treatment.

 

What do you think families appreciate most about what you do?

Families are always so appreciative of the service, programmes and other ways that we provide support. Even when I personally feel that I haven’t done enough, families say how thankful they are for how I have been able to support them. I’d like to think that families appreciate my caring ways.

 

OUR SUPPORT IS POWERED BY YOU

Our Family Support Coordinators are at the heart of everything we do, providing one-to-one support for each family.

Please donate today to ensure that each family can receive personalised support when they need it most.