You have been Chair of the RNZFB Board since November 2020 but been on the Board since 2013. How different is being Chair of the Board from being a director? 

Being a board director, you are contributing towards decisions and when you are a Chair you are leading others so that they can contribute to decisions. I am quite a collaborative person so I spend a bit of time making sure I talk to directors of the board between meetings. So the first six months have been really good I have met lots of new people and built a lot of relationships which will be really useful.

What have been the highlights and what do you think will be the challenges ahead?

The highlights have been building relationships with various people and working closely with the Chief Executive and the Leadership Team to hear what they’ve got to say and work out what’s good for the organisation from a slightly distant approach. It is really important to get the governance right so the operational part becomes accountable.

What would you like our clients to know about you?

I’m pretty laid back. I’m a mum of three and a grandma of four. If I think about my own personal values are transparency and communication. I am happy for people to make contact via email and happy to talk to people if they need to have a conversation about something that’s bothering them.

What would you say is one major issue for people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision?

I would say that access to information is really important and that information is accessible for them in any format that they need.  I also think their needs to be more communication and greater awareness about what is happening in our organisation and in the disability sector as a whole.

Judy Small, her guide dog and Jane Moore at a podium.How would you describe your leadership style?

Pretty collaborative and open. I try not to be judgemental and I try to ensure that the leadership style is done with people around me and not just on my own. I think good leaders have lots of good people who work with them and that’s my way of working. I like to listen to what people have to say and that helps me make my decisions.

What do you do outside work?

I like reading books and knitting and I don’t mind a spot of cooking because I like food. My reward at the end of a long day is to sit down for an hour read my talking books or listen to a podcast and do some knitting that’s my idea of relaxation.

To get in touch with Judy, email Board Secretary Jane Moore

Photos by M Crawford.