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Monday October 13, 2014

Julia fights for families

inbriefnews

By Sam Duff

Defying gay ban Ned and Ted, Sharon and Karen – a Wellington church intends to defy the Presbyterian Church’s ban on conducting same-sex marriages. St Andrews on the Terrace says it finds the ban appalling and disturbing. The general assembly of the Presbyterian church of Aotearoa spent four days deliberating and announced its ban last week.

On your bike Cyclists in Wellington city can now prime-up their bikes during their journeys after a bike repair stand was installed last week. The bike repair stand is outside the central library and allows cyclists to pump up their tyres and tighten those loose points.

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SOCIAL WORKER: General Manager of Family Works Julia Hennessey. PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Duff

A job vacancy at a children’s home led to a lifetime of working with children for social worker Julia Hennessy. “I ended up there by fluke really, but I loved working with the young people,” she says. The Hataitai resident, who moved from Essex ten years ago, is now the general manager of Family Works for the lower North Island. “My staff know that I have done the hard yards and have had the hard conversations,” Julia says. Family Works operate throughout New Zealand providing social work and counselling services.

During her early days at the children’s home in the UK Julia says it was an interesting situation when she found herself temporarily running the home at the age of 21. The 12 kids all had chicken pox and because Julia had had it as a child she was the only permanent staff member that could work. One of the hardest parts of her job is when they cannot help as much as they would like to, she says. Julia says she and the Family Works team often see women bashed, fatherless families and upset kids. “Yes it’s a hard job but it’s also one of the most fantastic jobs in being able to support people to make

Mayor keen to track new fault Additional funding needs to be found for scientists to continue geological mapping of a newly discovered fault line in Wellington, according to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. Scientists say the two kilometre active fault, which tracks from Oriental Parade out into the har-

bor, could lead to an earthquake of up to 7.1 in magnitude. Mayor Wade-Brown says she is reassured that the cities building standards could handle the level of shaking that size quake could bring. “For the Capital’s resilience, preparedness and reassurance,

it’s important that we precisely confirm the location and characteristics of this new fault,” Mayor Wade-Brown says. “Knowing more about Wellington’s geological faults is critical to our resilience. “The better our understanding is, the better we can prepare

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hard changes. “Actually it’s quite an honour to be able to do that work. Although she often sees people who are in distress, Julia says the Family Works social workers and staff also get to share amazing moments with families. “It makes you feel very humble that people share that with you.” Julia says she was touched when a young girl wrote on a feedback form that she felt safe now. September 24 was New Zealand Social Workers Days and October is Family Work’s annual Guardian Angel Month. Visit www.angel.org.nz to learn more

AT FAULT: A new fault line has been discovered in Wellington harbor. PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Duff

for events and the better we can plan our urban design and infrastructure.” Mayor Wade-Brown says she would like to see further investment made in to the It’s Our Fault research programme. “It may be prudent to review the priorities of the programme especially in light of the discovery of the Aotea Fault,” she says. “The real value in this research is understanding the characteristics of the fault, so that new infrastructure built across the fault can be constructed with the best available knowledge of how this fault behaves.” She says Wellingtonians should not be too alarmed at the new fault and she is reassured that it does not increase the cities earthquake risk.  Should Wellingtonians stump-up to pay to track the new fault line discovered in the harbour? Email news@wsn. co.nz and let us know what you think

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