Background

Qualifications & Membership

  • MSc Human Resources (Consulting), South Bank University
  • MA Cultural Studies (Distinction) Thames Valley University
  • MA Fine Art (Distinction), Goldsmiths College University of London
  • Certified user of MBTI (Steps I & II), FIRO-B and 16PF psychometric instruments
  • Member of EMCC UK (European Mentoring and Coaching Council)

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Previous Employment 

Prior to becoming a consultant in 1998, I worked in the HIV sector for 12 years, which kindled my interest in radical organisational change. Initially there was widespread ignorance, relations between the public and voluntary sector were tense, and services were ill-prepared for the crisis. Our task was to contain anxiety, provide strategic leadership, hold to our values, and engage staff to think differently about the way they provided services. Later, once HIV services were embedded, many of the generic NHS & social care reforms were piloted in the HIV sector. Again, this called for innovative analysis, insightful leadership, strategic cross-sector partnerships, and clear employee engagement.

Chief Executive – The HIV Project (1993-98) – This second tier public health training, research & development agency had a profound influence on national strategy, particularly: outcomes evaluation; epidemiology-driven strategy; services to African refugees and other marginalised groups; and GP and nurse education. I was brought in to transfer The Project from North Thames Regional HA to charitable status – it was the first NHS service to become a charity.

Unusually my role of Corporate HIV/AIDS Strategy Co-ordinator (1989-93) at LB Hounslow reported to the Environmental Health, Social Services, Personnel, and Equalities committees, securing a high level of ownership across the council. Our policy was the national model for local government, and an exceptionally high % of personnel at all grades attended our training programme. We developed a generic confidentiality audit for local government, wrote for the All Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS, and recommended policy for the National Assn of Port Health Authorities.

Additional Roles

In my capacity as Chair of the National Assn of HIV/AIDS Workers I led a number of large conferences on the impact of the NHS & Community Care Act; and on the Executive of The W London Standing Conference on HIV/AIDS we piloted joint commissioning and purchaser-provider splits, and spearheaded user involvement. I was on the advisory committee of AIDS Ahead, a national charity for deaf people. As a youth worker I started the UK’s 1st support group for young HIV+ gay men in 1988. I joined one of the first intakes of the DoH / BBC’s National AIDS Helpline (1986-1991), and recruited all advisors for their dedicated BME lines.

For over 7 years I was a specialist mentor for The Prince’s Trust, I was a long-standing trustee of queerupnorth International Arts Festival and London Printworks Trust – a textiles print studio which produced excellent art and design, and which achieved groundbreaking results with excluded school students.

My experience of growing up in South Africa gave me a lifelong commitment to diversity and community development: there I was on the founding executive of a groundbreaking human rights organisation.

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