Honoured for her service: Kathy Allen
Kathy Allen received her New Year honour from New Zealand Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy in Wellington last week. Mrs Allen was presented the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community. Her voluntary work includes being a member of the Maori Women's Welfare League for over 10 years where she was mentored by Lady Lorna Ngata, Peggy Kaua, Maude Isaac, Ethel MacPherson and Olive Isaacs.
Mrs Allen, along with Tipene Leach, facilitated the implementation of the Wahakura pilot scheme programme in August 2007. This involved making 100 wahakura, or woven flax sleeping pods, for newborn babies so they could sleep safely alongside their parents to reduce the incidence of cot deaths.
She has volunteered for The New Zealand Blind Foundation since 1989 and organised outings and concerts on a monthly basis. She volunteered as hospital chaplain for the Catholic church for two years visiting patients and providing pastoral care if needed. She has been an ongoing volunteer for Age Concern for the past 20 years.
As the president of the Gisborne Floral Festival Incorporation from 2000 to 2014, Mrs Allen has organised local floral festivals, getting community and schools involved in displaying floral work.