Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane. The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane.
It has come as a shock to the Shine whanau that our beloved Mary McGee passed away yesterday morning. We are bereft at this loss and our hearts and love goes out to Mary’s husband Greg and her children and grandchildren at this time.
Mary retired from her role as Senior Advocate at Shine in 2017. Since then, she has been enjoying life with her husband, children and grandchildren, after many years of working at the coalface.
Mary first worked for Shine in 1998, and left and came back to work at Shine several times over the next two decades. Everyone who worked with Mary will agree that she was utterly passionate about supporting victims of domestic violence and about the need to improve the systems that are barriers to safety for these people.
As a Shine Advocate, Mary supported thousands of women and children who experienced domestic violence, helping them to better understand their situation and their risk of physical harm, providing emotional support and advocating on their behalf with police, courts, Oranga Tamariki and other organisations, to help them become safe and live free from fear and violence.
As quoted in a 2016 Stuff article, Mary said about her role as a Shine Advocate, “..each situation requires a unique approach but the end goal is always the same: to work out a way to provide safety and security for those who would otherwise be trapped in a cycle of abuse.”
When she retired from working as an Advocate in 2017, Mary said, “I feel privileged to have had so many people share the intimate details of their lives with me. To do this work has been an absolute honour.”
Those of us who knew Mary at Shine consider it our honour to have known and worked with her during those years.
To Mary’s husband Greg and her children and grandchildren and wider whanau – please know that even though we are not able to gather with you in person right now, we are all remembering Mary in our own ways, and sending you our thoughts and love.
Here are some ways to help you remember Mary, or help you appreciate Mary’s work if you weren’t blessed to have known her personally:
- Read our news story about Mary, written when she retired in Shine in 2017.
- Listen to the Venus Envy (The Spinoff) podcast interview with Mary in 2018: scroll down to “WEEK ONE: Jacinda Ardern and Mary McGee – leadership, feminism, domestic violence, toxic masculinity” OR read a transcript of this podcast interview with Mary.