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Acknowledging our Headway Heroes and honouring & encouraging those who have shown personal courage & determination in adapting to a different life following a brain injury.

Headway hero iconHeadway Heroes

This section on Headway Heroes gives us the opportunity to thank and honour those individuals who have contributed in significant ways to our organisation. Quite frankly without volunteers and the goodwill of many others in the community, organisations such as Brain Injury Association (BIA) Auckland would not function.

Over the years many individuals and indeed families have worked hard with little expectation often at great expense and inconvenience to themselves, so that BIA Auckland could continue to provide the services that it has.

As well acknowledging the sterling work of individual Headway Heroes is also an opportunity to honour and encourage those people who have shown personal courage and determination in adapting to a different life following a brain injury.

Dr Philip Wrightson (neurosurgeon) & Dr Dorothy Gronwall (neuropsychologist)

Philip Wrightson was best known for his studies of the cognitive effects of mild head injury. Before the 1960s the prevailing opinion was that patients reporting persistent symptoms following mild head injury were either neurotic or malingering. This point-of-view was supported by the lack of abnormalities on neurological examination and standard tests of mental function. Dorothy Gronwall, a neuro-psychologist, had devised the paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT) as a measure of the rate of information processing.  

Together they demonstrated a slowing of cognitive processes following mild head injuries. These studies, reported in the Lancet, were acclaimed as landmark contributions on the subject. Philip Wrightson was a powerful advocate for appropriate rehabilitation following head injury and with Dorothy Gronwall established in Auckland the first outpatient rehabilitation programme for patients suffering from concussion. This in effect gave rise to the establishment of Head Injury Society of Auckland in 1981 (later becoming The Brain Injury Association). Philip Wrightson was the first patron of the Society and Dorothy Gronwall the first vice-chairperson.

Jorgen Owre

Jorgen’s has had a long association with Brain Injury: Auckland. Originally a volunteer when the Stewart Centre operated from Headway House, Jorgen stayed on to undertake the maintenance of the house, originally built in 1923. Thanks to Jorgens great skills and innovation all the little jobs not included in the specifications for the Pub Charity funded renovation in 2012 were completed and along with so much more. A true craftsman alas now plying his trade in Whangarei where he has retired. Thank you Jorgen.

Barry Pownceby

Barry sustained a serious TBI in 1992 after an accident in the Wellington railway shunting yards. In 1993 he came to Auckland for rehabilitation at Laura Fergusson Trust and never went back. Actually hes a mainlander from Moeraki now a native son of Mt Wellington. Barry has been a member of Brain Injury Auckland for over 20 years. He is a cheerful busy and ever helpful person, a fundraiser extraordinaire, passionate wood worker, champion indoor bowler and proud father of two fine daughters. Barry has distributed our collection cans in the Mt Wellington/Panmure area, most notably at Sylvia Park.

The Bucklands Beach Lions Club

The Bucklands Beach Lions Club who have organised and prepared, cooked and served food at the Brain Injury Auckland picnic since 2008. A wonderful generous team of ‘Easties’ who have bravely crossed the bridge to Long Bay Regional Park and worked hard to ensure we were all well fed and sheltered. Their organisational magic has extended to ensuring that we always have a fine sunny day and by my recollection only once was serving the lunch interrupted by rain.

Bob & Mihi Clendon

Bob and Mihi were stalwarts of the Otara Lions Club which organised the Brain Injury: Auckland picnic up until 2008 when the Otara club went into recess. Bob and a few remaining members then joined Bucklands Beach club. Since then Bob and Mihi have retired to live at his turangawaewae, in Rawhiti , Bay of Islands. While the picnic organisation and catering for the picnic has passed into the safe hands of the Bucklands Beach Lions the all-inclusive games Bob and his team organised have been sorely missed. The Clendon Whanau certainly knew how to get everybody involved.

Mr Clip aka Cecil Mayall

Mr Clip aka Cecil Mayall of Warworth who for the last 12 years (except 2014) has set up his mobile shearing pen at the picnic and he typically sheared about a dozen sheep and the odd alpaca much to the delight of our members and many passers-by. Ces is a wonderfully generous man, a big character and he and his family provide a slice of farming life that most would never get to see. Thank you Cec, always a popular exhibition for our members who have very limited access to rural life. Now if you are feeling sheepish and in need of sharing then contact Mr Clip Shearing: 09 425 7104 or 0274 853 234.

Julie

It was 21st October 2001, and Julie's life changed forever. She drove through an intersection and another car struck the side of Julie's vehicle. Some of her injuries include post-traumatic amnesia, diffuse brain injury, punctured lung, cut spleen, broken ribs and fractured pelvis.
 

Dr Philip Wrightson & Dr Dorothy Gronwall
Dr Philip Wrightson (neurosurgeon) & Dr Dorothy Gronwall (neuropsychologist)

Jorgen Owre (left) and Barry Pownceby

Barry Pownceby

The Bucklands Beach Lions Club
The Bucklands Beach Lions Club

Bob & Mihi Clendon

Mr Clip aka Cecil Mayall

Julie