Growing up, Justine assumed a leadership role in many things - community theatre, sports, fundraising, peer mentoring, academics, and choir. Since graduating from Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School as the class valedictorian, Justine’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable.
After a Grade 12 mission trip to Ecuador, Justine was inspired to pursue a degree in Global Health and African Studies at the University of Toronto. While there, she had the opportunity to be part of an elite group of students who travelled to Ethiopia to discuss global political issues and talk with African Union officials.
She eventually travelled to New Zealand, to complete her undergraduate degree, and later, a Masters degree in Health Leadership at the University of Auckland. The focus of her final project was the importance of removing healthcare barriers for Māori children and their families. She was privileged to wear a korowai (a traditional Māori cloak) at her graduation and to have the support of her Māori colleagues.
Justine’s passion for helping others is evident in everything she does. Most recently, she was part of the Emergency Operations Centre at a major hospital in New Zealand during the COVID-19 lockdown - she ensured equitable access, set up testing centres and secured funding for Māori health providers. Justine also loves theatre and launched a youth program at the local musical theatre, volunteered to direct shows, teach music and more.
Justine’s life journey is about service to others which is expressed so well in this whakatauki (Māori proverb): He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.(What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.)