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Shawnee Kara

2019-2021 / Bachelor of Counselling (Manukau/Henderson campuses)

I think the most memorable moment of my Laidlaw journey was a moment of internal conflict. During a reading (that everyone seemed to love) I had to do a discussion post on, I came across something I found deeply offensive. I wrestled with this for days and eventually approached my lecturer letting them know the post would most likely be late if I could manage it. After unpacking my situation the lecturer encouraged me to write the post from my place of offence. That discussion post became a part of a teaching on social justice and also was the precipice of a spoken word I created that ended up being far more impactful than I could have imagined.

I can't say I remember a lot, but I can definitely remember the moments that provoked me to think in ways I had never thought before.

Doing a Bachelor of Counselling I was confronted with the work I needed to do personally before considering helping others to do their work. Because of this, I have found I am more settled in who God has created me to be. Now when I say I love God and love people it's not just a Bible scripture I use – it’s something I not only live out on a daily basis but something that is experienced by others. I have found this is because I know, at the core of me, that I am loved deeply by God and that is simply enough.

After completing my Counselling degree, I went took on multiple roles. Two of the placements asked me to stay on to work so I became a primary school counsellor at two different schools. I also became a group facilitator at Laidlaw College and took on the role of the Bi-Cultural Relationships Course Coordinator.

My main role is Mum to my two children while my husband is at Police College, so all my mahi is organised around that. I am still at both primary schools and doing the two roles at Laidlaw. I have since taken on a few more roles at Laidlaw and have begun conversations around a Masters. I am recognising what is possibly ahead - that may require me to shift quite a bit so I am preparing for that as well.

I am grateful my God is faithful. This journey has been anything but easy and there were multiple times I wanted to give up and even times where I was told I might need to consider putting my studies on hold. But not once did I feel God waiver, so I remained as well. At the end of it all, with so much more on the horizon, I'm not sure I will ever be able to call myself successful. But I will always consider myself blessed.

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