Victims' champion steps back
Rachael Kooman provided 18 years' service as the Invercargill Victim Support Coordinator.
Restructuring across New Zealand has meant a change with only one position across Southland now and Diane Johnstone, of Gore, has been appointed to that placing.
In her role Kooman led and managed Victim Support in responding to several significant operations including Christchurch earthquakes, Easy Rider tragedy, numerous homicides and serious vehicle crashes.
She ensured Victim Support remains a key partnership for Police in providing Victim Support services in the community.
Southland Police Inspector area commander Lane Todd thanked Kooman for her time helping police, volunteers and people in difficult situations across Southland.
"I commend Rachael for her positive leadership and strong commitment in providing a high level of service to victims," Todd said.
He awarded her the New Zealand Police, Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa, Area Commander's Certificate of Appreciation.
"She has consistently provided excellent service to Victim Support and the wider community and we wish her well," he said.
Other volunteers spoke of her commitment to the role over many years, in spite of so many challenges and changes she faced continually.
Murihiku Maori Wardens gifted her a greenstone pendant, which had been blessed, as a symbol of her love and the heart she has for others and that she has given to Maori whanau within the community.
The Wardens acknowledged all the mahi she has endlessly gifted to their people.
Gifts were also presented from the Police and Victim Support.