Elizabeth Goodwin takes home 'superstar' award

3 December 2020

Elizabeth Goodwin and her team became a lifeline to families during lockdown. Her work coordinating online support has won her the Attitude Support Superstar Award at last night’s Attitude Awards. Elizabeth was nominated for the award by IHC New Zealand.

‘Going hard and early’ into the COVID-19 lockdown left parents of disabled children isolated. Government agencies and sector organisations could not respond fast enough and there was no central channel available for parents seeking information and help.

Seeing the need, Elizabeth and IHC launched the Awhi-at-home Facebook page within a week of the move into Alert Level 4 and it quickly became an online community where parents could support each other. Soon government and sector agencies were posting information to the page to connect with parents.

Many parents were posting late at night and in the early hours, and Elizabeth was there to respond to them. As the convenor of Awhi-at-home, she supported parents around the clock.

She directed the focus of the page, she chaired the Awhi team and coordinated the responses to parents from other parents, professionals and Ministry representatives to make sure no family was left isolated and without support.

She took the lead in making sure that Awhi responded to what families needed and after listening to them she decided to shift the emphasis from providing resources for children to providing help and information for parents.

Now, post-lockdown, Awhi continues as a whānau-driven collective, collaborating to create social change by informing, connecting and nurturing people linked by disability.

Also nominated by IHC was, The Independence Collective for Attitude Employee and Entrepreneur Award, and Libby Hunsdale for the Attitude Youth Courage Award.

As seen on TV’s Unbreakable documentary, The Independence Collective, a group of young entrepreneurs from the Kāpiti Coast, were all looking for real jobs and better lives, but without success. So, they went into business on their own account – “four friends brewing better lives” – in collaboration with award-winning breweries. The Independence Collective is composed of Nathan Martin, Neville Pugh, Cameron Stitchbury and Janie Tutton.

Libby Hunsdale is the star of new feature film, Poppy. Libby, 18, has Down syndrome and was born with a learning disability. She attends Whanganui Girls’ College where she has a long and proud list of awards won for her achievements and leadership.

The Attitude Awards are a nationally televised event celebrating the achievements and successes of New Zealanders living with disabilities.