Gloria Sheridan

Ko Hikurangi me Mākeo ōku maunga                                                                         
Ko Waiapu me Waiaua ōku awa                                         
Ko Tama-o-ta-Puhi me Ōmarumutu ōku marae                   
Ko Ngati Korowai me Ngati Rua ōku hapu          
Ko Nukutere me Mataatua ōku waka                                  
Ko Ngatiporou me Whakatohea ōku iwi                             
Ko Erueti Pohoiwi  raua ko Waitai Mokomoko Kora ōku matua.
Ko Gloria Pohoiwi Sheridan tōku ingoa, nō Te Tairawhiti ahau.

First and foremost, I am Māori and have a faith in te Atua. 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 or guardianship responsibilities. I am a member of Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu National Māori consumer voice and am a Mataora of Mahi-a-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.

Currently working in Te Kupenga Net Trust, Gisborne as a Peer Support Worker (PSW) and Advocate in Adult Mental Health and Addictions; I also provide education and training to counter stigma and discrimination in Te Tairawhiti. Te Kupenga Net Trust is a tikanga Māori (cultural values, beliefs, principles and practices) based NGO, founded by tangata (people) for tangata, with an experience of mental distress and/or addictions. We strongly believe tīkanga in practice is paramount when working with Māori and we are deliberate in indigenising the spaces we occupy. 

As a kaitautoko, my support for tangata comes from having a lived experience, not from a space of deficit, but recovery. I am deliberate in encouraging and supporting our tangata to a space of emancipation, driven by their individual ideology of recovery and promoting feedback informed treatment. Here, the notion of kaitiaki in practice allows a quality of space to explore, authenticate and validate the origins of their own unique perspectives or worldviews.

As a privileged member of Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu, the opportunity to develop and influence significant change on behalf of our Māori consumers and communities allows a space to weave thought, words and pathways built on Māori ideology at a national level.