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Old Girl Part Of NZ Disability Strategy Group

posted 8 Feb 2016, 13:31 by Debbie Stevens

Dio Old Girl Robbie Francis, Class of 2006, has been selected as a member of the New Zealand Disability Strategy revision reference group. The group will begin work on revising this important national vision next week and then to ensure the new Strategy is developed, owned and championed by all New Zealanders.

Born with phocomelia, a rare congenital condition which affects her lower limbs, Robbie had a through-knee amputation at the age of 12, shortly before starting at Dio. The school holds many fond memories for Robbie and she often returns to visit staff  and speak to students. Being part of  one of the school mission trips to St Christopher’s Orphanage in Fiji, changed Robbie’s world view and started her on her journey of working with young people in need and being an advocate for the disabled. 

Robbie has worked in the disability sector as a support worker, researcher for Attitude Pictures and an intern for Disability Rights International (Mexico). She has also worked with disabled children in France, Bangladesh, India and Mexico, as well as spearheading research on disability rights. She is the co-founder and director of a social enterprise focused on the training and employment of disabled people. She is currently a PhD candidate researching the experiences of disabled people during war.