Mary Bourke served five terms as Mayor of South Taranaki District before choosing not to seek re-election. She is older and greyer now having since survived governance roles in health, education and the philanthropic sectors.
Under the banner of MARYBOURKE UNLIMITED she is self employed as a freelance facilitator and is passionate about unlocking the wisdom of groups and communities who can (if allowed) design the best solutions for their own problems.
She recently set herself the challenge of describing what a freelance facilitator does. “Herding cats”, “Coralling creativity”, “Keeping conversations cogent” were three of her early attempts.
Her experience indelibly suggests that any group – particularly ones who least think they need it; will benefit greatly from having an impartial “invigilator” assisting with their difficult or challenging – or even just strategic conversations.
Strategic Planning and Problem solving are her most favourite things. She also does a bit of mediation, mentoring - both voluntary and paid, and tailormade team-building.
Having been an enthusiastic debater in the past she occasionally accepts speaking missions – for which she prepares by grubbing in the dirt of her garden which is an evolving labour of love. She is the proud Mum of two donkeys, three ducks, two chooks, one cat, and one dog.