16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
1-3 March 2023

Changing Seasons,
Changing Lives

Sheena Wallace

Kaiarahi Māori (Cultural Lead)
Odyssey House

My name is Sheena Maunsell and I am of Māori descent with connections to both Ngāti Paoa and Waikato iwi. I have a Bachelors degree in social work and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Kaitiakitanga (Bi-cultural Professional Supervision). I am a registered Social Worker and a member of DAPAANZ.

Currently I am employed as one of three Kaiārahi – Cultural Lead(s) for Odyssey, my role specifically located at Spring Hill Correctional Facility in Waikato. I was initially employed by Odyssey in 2019 as a clinican, spending two years in clinical roles supporting both the Drug Treatment and Intensive Treatment Programmes. For the past year, as Kaiārahi, I continue to be a kaitiaki, supporting and guiding cultural and integrated practice(s) within Intensive and Brief Intervention Treatment Programmes. Previous to my time at Odyssey, I spent almost 10 years in a number of social work roles within Iwi-based providers in the wider Waikato community area.

This time as a Social Worker, clinician and Kaiārahi has seen me move through the entire justice pipeline from the care and protection of children, to youth justice, to whānau social work and the custodial setting. I believe the importance of culture within these environments, approaches to practice and pathways to healing should not be under-estimated. Culture is fundamental to life, to achieving best outcomes and success for individuals and their whānau/family.