Changing lives; reducing inequality - the evidence
May 21, 2018 6:30 PM
Dame Lesley Max
Changing lives; reducing inequality - the evidence

Dame Lesley Max has spent the best part of her life trying to make life better for our most vulnerable children. Hers is a powerful voice, a voice of reason and, most crucially, a voice that offers hope. Always prepared to ask the difficult questions, she has from time to time been a thorn in the side of government.

Her devotion to the cause is not to be underestimated. Passionate?

Her background includes University of Auckland; secondary school teaching, mainly in London; freelance journalism, principally for METRO and writing. Her book “Children: Endangered Species?” (Penguin, 1990) has been profoundly influential in New Zealand.

Dame Lesley co-founded Great Potentials Foundation (originally known as Pacific Foundation) in 1990, together with businessman, author and broadcaster, Gordon Dryden. Lesley created the Family Service Centre model, introduced HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) in New Zealand, and developed MATES (Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme).

Awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship, Lesley studied successful interventions in child protection and education in five countries. On her return, she was influential in the establishment of Family Start in New Zealand.