Kitty McKinley the founder of Challenge 2000 and a Social Worker for 35 years, was recognised for her Services to Youth and the Community in the New Years Honours and received this award at Government House in April.
Kitty is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
She says: “it is a privilege to receive this award and an honour to be part of so many peoples’ lives over so many years. Throughout my life I have received far more than I have given and it has been absolutely amazing to share deeply in the pain, grief, achievements and hopes of so many people from every sector of society. Love works and it does change lives, systems and communities if you just keep on doing it and never give up. A team or community of people who are passionate about serving their country and by doing the little things one after the other, day after day, week after week do make a difference.
I am so grateful to all the current and past staff and board members and supporters of Challenge who have made me look good and who have served generously and selflessly! So many people just turn up and give what is needed when it is needed – thank you.
There are still so many injustices in our country that must be addressed- the challenge is to keep on working to make Aotearoa New Zealand what it can be – a place of hope, justice and unity. Let’s keep doing it!!”.