TouchStone is a heartfelt collaboration, established by Jude and Mel, two devoted individuals, dedicated to creating a meaningful difference in the domain of family violence, together.
For the past 8 years Jude has been the family harm trainer and a senior advisor at the Royal New Zealand Police College. She is responsible for designing, developing and delivering the current ‘hearts and mind’ training package to every recruit that comes through the college training to be a Police officer. The package was launched in February 2015, it identifies what family harm is, and how to respond by putting the victim at the centre. Jude’s story, education and scenario workshops focus upon empathy and kindness equipping recruits with tools, awareness and knowledge to be a positive difference for whānau experiencing family harm. The priority for Jude is to ensure people do not lose sight of the human touch that is needed when attending family harm and the importance of remaining human. Prior to her work with Police Jude was a family violence advocate for Presbyterian Support Northern for 10 years and lead spokesperson for MSD ‘Its not ok’ campaign. In 2018 Jude was awarded the Member ot the New Zealand Order of Merit for her tireless services to the prevention of family violence. Her personal story relating to family harm is recounted in her book ‘Lost and Found’ A woman’s living proof.
With over 19 years' experience as an operational Police officer, Mel’s policing career focused on building partnerships with Māori and the community to work collectively on solutions.
Mel actively navigated her career to fit her purpose, taking roles to build trust and confidence Māori have in Police including Iwi Liaison roles, leading a team in Wairoa and Maori recruitment. As a leader her passion lay in influencing her staff and peers to be the best version of themselves to make a difference. Mel left Police in 2022 taking a role working with her Iwi, Ngati Kahungunu as the coordinator for Te Kura family harm partnership. Over the next 12 months Mel led the shift to put whanau voice at the forefront of the Te Kura response to family violence across Hawkes Bay.
Mel currently works as the NGO family violence kaimahi in Central Hawkes Bay actively developing a local integrated community response to family violence. Her personal family violence journey featured in 'Stand by Me' the story of Te Whakaruruhau Womens Refuge.
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