Champions for dementia

Our Champions for Dementia are well-known New Zealanders with a personal connection to dementia.

They are supporting Alzheimers New Zealand to raise awareness of dementia and promote wider understanding of dementia and its impacts.

Kate De Goldi 

Kate is a well-known and award winning short story writer, an author of young adult fiction, a children's book author and a writer of journalism pieces. Kate's parents both had dementia and she wrote about dementia in her novel The ACB with Honora Lee.

Kate’s mother started showing signs of memory loss in her early seventies. As a Champion for Dementia, Kate is looking to honour the experience she had with her Mum and Dad and help raise public awareness of dementia. 

Kate says: "Though their lives were different and difficult by our measure it did not mean that they had no quality of life. It was incumbent on us to think more imaginatively about what their lives and selves had become and to see their humanity beneath the altered body and personality." Read more.

Colin Mathura-Jeffree

Colin has worked extensively as an international model, before making the transition to television. He is well-known for his work as an actor, presenter and spokesperson. 

Colin’s grandmother Eileen passed away in 1998 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Colin reflects on his experience, "I think as a community we need to have awareness and respect to look beyond our own resources. With unity there will always be strength. Share the knowledge, share the experience."

"Treat the person with dementia with the same love and courage you would want to be treated with in the same situation." Read more.

Kerry Prendergast

Kerry is the Chair of the NZ Tourism Board, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Executive Chair of the New Zealand (Arts) Festival, as well being on a number of other boards. 

Kerry’s association with dementia is a personal one. Her father went through the journey of Alzheimer’s disease, being diagnosed late, in 2002, and passing away in 2005. With earlier diagnosis, Kerry’s father and his family would have been better prepared. As it was, he and his family did not have the benefit of the services and support that would have made a real difference to his ability to live well with his dementia.

Her mother has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia; so another journey is beginning for her family. Read more.