Sharon, who is now in her 60’s, was born and brought up in the lower part of the North Island. Because of her father’s job she and her family lived in several small towns in the North Island before settling in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. She fondly remembered her childhood in different country towns with her 3 brothers. Sharon left home at 15 to start work, and by 17 was working in a caregiving organization that she stayed in for over 20 years. In this job she moved from a junior to a managerial role, which she liked, as she said, “I enjoyed it, I was responsible, I had a lot of staff that used to work under me. Basically, for me it was about commitment and needing to achieve what I wanted to. I liked things to run smoothly, to be organized, and to make sure everything had a purpose.” It was difficult for Sharon to leave her job but she eventually did to support her family when they brought a small farm South of the Eastern Bay. It was challenging for Sharon when her mother died and she became quite isolated until she connected with the VEBV, which she describes as being like a support group. Sharon also spoke of there being a lot of “love in the organization and a lot of caring. I think that's really important, caring, and they do care and they let you know what's happening in the community and what you can be involved with. They help you start your own little groups off, and through that you're supporting each other without having to ask for more support. Yeah, that's how it helps people because you're not always asking others for help or support, but you're supporting yourself within your own group.”





There’s more time

I’m traveling, and

being with family and friends

“I think it's like seeing myself through my own glasses. Yeah, and in a way, it's got two meanings because there’s the clouds and the clouds are like my glasses. So, the clouds can be clouds, but they're also like, the lenses, and I’m looking through them at myself.”

- Sharon


“It's just basically open space and just a sort of freedom I suppose. Yeah, just relaxed and going with the flow.”


“It’s the ups and downs in life, and ups and downs of the body, because as you get older you don't feel as fit as you used to. Or you don’t have the strength as much as you used to have. I think I’m also trying to liven myself up a bit, to get more up and going, because I haven't been swimming for a couple of months and I've got to get back into that.”


“I did enjoy doing that one it was just sort of the curves and I liked the orangey colour…I don't know whether spirit is like an inner emotion, inside, an emotion of spirit? But I've always thought of spirit as something that remains after you've gone, something continuing? I think about my family, like my parents, and I always think of their spirit and them being themselves, what they were and what they inspired.”


“Things are up and down, yep, up and down because emotions are up and down aren’t they, you can be feeling really good and then something else will pop up and you don’t. I think basically emotions can go around and up and down, and you can have moments where they're better than others.”

My Power

“It’s people, I enjoy meeting people, getting to know them, and being a part of our EBV group. Basically, getting involved with other people, and for me that has been a great thing to get to know them and for them to get to know me.”

Pleasure &

“That's the sun shining through from the Eastern Bay Villages, the happiness and brightness shining through, which is about belonging. And there’s the swimming pool that I love, my family and all the people I’ve been meeting”