← Articles

Introducing the Flying Kites Advisory Team

June 20, 2024

Earlier this year we realised along-held ambition for Flying Kites - to establish an Advisory Team that will support us in developing programmes and services that truly serve the disabled community.

We believe that any services that are designed to provide disability support need to be guided by those who have lived experience of disability. We need to move away from models that put people in boxes and find solutions that are as individual as the people we support.

The Flying Kites Advisory Team is made up of six members who will give feedback on our services, communications and activities, and provide valuable insight to inform the strategic direction of our organisation. They bring with them unique perspectives and represent the diversity that exists within our disabled communities.


Introducing the Flying KitesAdvisory Team:


Gabby Hogg

Gabby is an autistic woman in her late 30s who is also a part-time AAC user. She has a wealth of knowledge around how to make services neurodivergent-friendly and AAC-user friendly. She studies social sciences/public policy at AUT.


Jolene McCue (Kai Tahu)

Jolene lives in Pōneke where she studies a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Māori Studies and Sociology at Victoria University. She is Type 1 Diabetic and has experience as a public servant (focusing on inclusion, equity, and accessibility). Jolene is a board member for Tāhono Inclusive Aotearoa Collective and has held volunteer roles advocating for disabled, neurodiverse, and LGBTQIA+ rainbow communities.


Jack Slater (Nga Puhi)

Jack originally came to FlyingKites as a customer and steps into his role in the Advisory Team to share his passion for supporting people with disabilities, especially in regards to advocating for people who are looking to get into work. Jack lives in Westmere, works part time for an insurance company and the YMCA after-school programme, has learning and sensory disabilities and brings an important perspective to our team.


Tamara Teo (Nga Puhi, Ngati Hine, NgatiKuri, Ngati Kahu)

Tamara lives in Kaitaia, Northland where she is mama to seven tamariki, two of whom access disability supports. Tamara has worked as a lifestyle coach in the disability sector - specifically around social housing and preparing for independent living - so understands from both sides how important it is for families to be heard, have their needs met and have their circumstances addressed accordingly. 


Susan Wadsworth

Susan works full-time in the disability sector, where her focus is on advocacy and diversity. She likes to be busy and constantly learning so also works part-time as a research assistant on a project around housing and is currently contributing to a book on the subject. Susan is paraplegic, uses a wheelchair full-time, has a chronic pain diagnosis and describes herself as ‘neurospicy’.


Becky Darroch

Becky joins the Advisory Team as an 18-year-old who is passionate about using her experience to advocate for those who are still waiting to be truly heard. Becky is non-speaking autistic and uses a letterboard to reveal her true words. 

“Having a kind of body that looks like I don't understand, people assume I am not interested. In fact such thoughts could not be further from the real truth. My understanding has the same ability as anyone else. Some of my interests include music - all types -social gatherings and advocating for the non-speaking community”


Flying Kites is grateful to the Spectrum Foundation for the 2023/2024 grant which enabled us to establish our advisory committee and pay our valued members for their contributions to Flying Kites.