Sir Ian Hassall, of Auckland, KNZM for services to the welfare of children
Sir Ian Hassall has spent his career championing children’s rights and to this day his work continues to impact on child welfare services, practices and research. Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot death and initiated a successful campaign to reduce the drowning rate of children at home. He has been responsible for medical oversight of the nationwide network of Plunket/Karitane Family units. He established the Child Abuse Prevention Society (Parent Help) in 1977. He was appointed as the first Commissioner for Children in 1989 and has been a member of a number of ministerial advisory committees on various issues affecting children. He became Chair of the Children’s Agenda lobby group in 1999 and was involved in establishing the Brainwave Trust. He helped set up the national children’s phone counselling service ‘What’s Up’, and was a Trustee of its governance board the Kids Helpline Trust until 2008. He was involved in the formation of Every Child Counts, which aims to include children’s interests in the processes of government. In the early 1990s Sir Ian promoted the establishment of a Children’s Day, with the project being picked up by Rotary leading to the first New Zealand Children’s Day celebrated in 2000.
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