Jackie Edmond was spending the weekend with her mum in Ashburton when news of her Queen’s Birthday honour spread.
The chief executive of Family Planning New Zealand regularly returns to her home town to catch up with family and friends and she said her cellphone was full of lovely messages of congratulations. Her mum Judith was very proud too.
Jackie became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to sexual and reproductive health. She has spent her working life in the health sector.
She said she had spent the holiday weekend with her mum and good friends from school; she now lives in Wellington.
She went to Allenton School and Ashburton College and trained as a psychiatric nurse, devoting her early years to mental health. She has led Family Planning since 2006.
While it was an honour to be recognised, it was back to work on Tuesday as normal, she said.
The honours list circulated to media described Jackie’s hard work in a difficult field.
She has approached her career in mental health and sexual and reproductive health with the conviction that everyone has the right to the highest standards of health care and access to the best of services.
Jackie is particularly committed to the rights of women and young people and their access to the services they need. She has tirelessly advocated for contraception and access to abortion care as essential services since 2006.
She has had significant influence on funding decisions that have resulted in more contraceptive methods being available at no cost and the recent change that saw abortion services moved away from criminal code to provision within the health system.
She has led the New Zealand delegation to the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development for several years. She was Chair of the Asia Pacific Alliance, a group of organisations working in sexual and reproductive health in countries across Asia and the Pacific.
Jackie was previously a board member and chair of the Hutt Valley Youth Health Service. She is a registered nurse with more than 20 years’ clinical experience. She was a service manager at Canterbury District Health Board and in the mental health area.