A brief history and introduction to TASC activities and Committee Profiles
TASC was originally founded in 1991 by a group of high level spinal injured people as a support group, which has gradually evolved into the present organization. Since 2008 TASC became a registered charity CC23064 and has now built up a vast network of volunteers who with their various experiences are able to offer moral support, advice and information to the new patients in the Spinal Unit. TASC covers the same geographical area as the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit, which is from New Plymouth, Taupo, across to the Eastern Bay of Plenty, up to Cape Reinga.
The Association for Spinal Concerns is governed by a committee. They meet several times each year to advise and give direction to the Society.
Anita O’Connor — Office Manager
Anita joined the TASC team in 2005.She works in the office with Heather ( our part time office assistant) and is the Office Manager as well as organising the Show Off Day and puts out the newsletter.
“Working for TASC is a most rewarding job. I really enjoy being able to help people with a SCI both while they are in the unit and after when the hard work really starts when they leave the unit and head home”..
Gavin Parish — President
Gavin Parish was injured in a motorbike accident in 2006, leaving him a T12 paraplegic. He has been involved with TASC since then. Gavin previously had 35 years’ experience working within the NZ Fire Service. He has completed his Diploma of Counselling at MIT and is now working toward his Bachelor of Counselling.
Brendan Tourelle — Vice President
Brendan Tourelle . Brendan Tourelle has rejoins the TASC committee.He was previously a member starting in 2000 after a ladder fall in 1999 left him a T4 Para. He is also on the Sailability Auckland Committee among many others. Brendan a very keen sailor, and over the years has instructed many people living with a disability the skills they need to learn to sail, many starting their sport in the Sailing Simulator with is setup the Spinal unit Gym. In 2012 he joined the TASC Art Class, which he really enjoys.
In 2000 I first joined the TASC committee, as a member I learned how a formal meeting is ran and met many like-minded people all trying to help make other peoples lives just the little bit more fulfilled. This gave me the confidence to join many other Committees over the years. I am now the Chairperson of Sailability Auckland, The President of The International Hansa Class as well as the NZ Hansa Class Association, Hansa Class is a Yacht Class it is an open class but that many people living with a disability enjoy sailing these boats. I’m also on the disability advisory Committee to Yachting New Zealand.
I also really enjoy the TASC Art Classes which is held on a Tuesday Afternoon. This Art Class is a great initiative which teaches many inspiring Artists the skill they need, it’s a great confidence boosted and many of the Artists are learning how to mouth paint, the class has some great camaraderie among the pupils, all help each other.
So thank you TASC for being such a positive part of my life.
Dean Brennan — Publicity Officer
Dean has been involved with TASC since 2005, He won HNZ 2007 Open Garden award. He has been learning website design for sometime and offered his help to develop our website.
Dean immigrated from the UK in 1990 had a freak accident in 1997 making him a C4 Tetrapalegic. He was a supervisor and volunteer fireman previously so continued the need to be of some use. He is married to Eleanor and has 2 daughters. Pam Ferguson asked me to help with the TASC website giving me confidence and a purpose so I continued to help nonprofits to get online voluntarily, I now manage a charitable trust that offers nonprofit organizations free website development and coach disabled people anything using video tutorials see www.itsaccessible.net.nz.
Mike has been a TASC committee member since 2011. Prior to his accident, a MVA in Egypt in 2008, he had been a university lecturer, competitive runner, husband and Dad. A T12/L1 paraplegic, Mike completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Theology and Mission in 2011 and has returned to work as a Marketing Manager for cbm. Outside of work he engages with his local community to improve mobility access and is pursuing an active family life. TASC has been a tremendous support in life decisions following an SCI including housing, transport, mobility, exercise, toileting and travel. Mike is thankful for the support of TASC office through his rehabilitation and is keen to see TASC continue to provide support and inspiration to its community