Voices of Dignity: Lynley Gulasekharam

Voices of Dignity:  Lynley Gulasekharam

Kia ora Lynley, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your connection to Dignity?

I am a very proud mother of Jacinta, co-founder of Dignity, and have supported her from day 1. I’m the first person to like every post and pride myself on that. I’ve been married to Jacinta’s dad for 33 years and have been a registered nurse for 35 years. For the last eight years I’ve been a clinical nurse specialist working as lung cancer coordinator at Mid Central Health. One of the focuses has been on equitable access to care for Maori and Pasifika. 

What does the word Dignity mean to you?

When I looked at all the different definitions and really it came to me it felt like it was about having pride and being equal. 

What were your first thoughts when  Jacinta shared her ideas for what we now know as Dignity with you?

I cried when Jacinta read out the article from the newspaper about students using socks as sanitary pads. So did Jacinta, I said yes you’ve got to do something absolutely. When she told me about the business model I was incredibly proud and I told everybody, anyone, I have contact with gets to know about Dignity. Be that staff, friends, patients, or anyone that stops long enough to talk to me. I was excited that she could help people in such an ingenious kind of way and that she would cold call businesses then they would come on board with the passion of what she and Miranda were doing. 

How would you like to see the current status quo around access and period products and period equity in Aotearoa change? 

Dignity with the Positive Periods has led part of the change by petitioning the government and getting period products in schools and meeting around the table with those in Ministries that can make a difference. It would be continuing to make the products more available in many places such as schools, churches, and libraries. There is an education package that needs to go with well-being for both girls and boys to learn about periods. 

Ngā mihi Lynley!

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