Newly recognised as Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to people with disabilities and the arts, Bronwyn Hayward’s creativity and tenacity is to be lauded as well as applauded as she lives with spinal condition diastemietiamyelia.
Bronwyn’s family, friends Huntleigh Home residents and staff celebrated with her following the announcement yesterday. A slide show presentation showed just how much she has achieved and the range of activities she’s tried – everything from hot air ballooning, paragliding and skiing to dancing.
Bronwyn’s love of dance included performances with Touch Compass, the New Zealand Ballet and Dance Aotearoa New Zealand. She also made and starred in a short dance film ‘Beauty’.
The first ever TV presenter with a disability Bronwyn co-wrote and presented ‘Inside Out’, a TVNZ show raising awareness of disability issues running from 1996 to 2004 and which became Attitude TV.
A volunteer with CCS Disability Action, Disability Rights Promotion International, Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA), Youthline, and New Zealand Disabled Skiers Bronwyn drove the establishment of a national network of disability advisors, Kaituitui.
Bronwyn coordinated International Day of the Disabled People events and Disability Pride Week New Zealand was Disability Support Counsellor at Victoria University of Wellington from 1996 to 2010, expanding the services offered.
When asked about her recognition Bronwyn is quick to point out that everyone has a life story to tell and the people she lives with at Huntleigh Home are no exception.
In fact another Huntleigh Home resident and former colleague of Bronwyn’s Valerie Smith appeared in the short film she made. Valerie’s only line was “Just dance!”
Huntleigh Home offers rest home and hospital care, short-term respite, health recovery care and a day programme. To arrange a visit to the home call the friendly team on 04 464 2020.