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Lesley Max

Lesley Max is the co-founder and CEO of Great Potentials Foundation, established in 1990.  She devised the Family Service Centre model, now in seven locations;  introduced HIPPY – Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters, now in 44 communities;  and introduced MATES – Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme, now in 14 schools. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship, which resulted in her strong advocacy for the creation of Family Start.  She has held Government appointments in the fields of health and family violence. Lesley is Patron of the Family Help Trust, the National Council of Women, Teach First New Zealand, and  Sistema Aotearoa. She grew up on the North Shore, graduated from the University of Auckland and was a secondary school teacher in London and Auckland.  She wrote for Metro magazine for 13 years and wrote an influential book, “Children: Endangered Species?” In 2010 she was made a Dame Commander of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to children. She is married to Dr Robert Max.  They have four children and five grandchildren.