With Perry’s background in social work, counselling, and management, she actively supports the counsellors and social workers in the Social Services Team at our Family Service Centres in Papakura and Takanini. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what do you do at Great Potentials Foundation?

Kia Ora, I'm Perry Zhou, and I am the Social Services Team (SST) Leader at the Family Service Centres in Papakura and Takanini. Originally from China, my family and I made the move to New Zealand back in 2004. My journey as a registered Social Worker began with my completion of a Bachelor's, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master’s degree in Social Work from Massey University and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Driven by a passion for providing counselling, mental health, and social work services to our communities, I took up the role as the SST Leader at Great Potentials Foundation in 2022.

What is a typical day of your job?

Every day with our Social Services Team brings new opportunities and experiences. We offer a wide range of services and interact with many individuals, families, and communities. As the SST Leader, my role is to provide support to the Social Services Team. This includes providing supervision and facilitating professional development to ensure we're well-prepared to assist our communities. We also develop relationships with different organisations and local networks to ensure children and families within our communities have access to the services they need.

What do you love the most about your job?

I really enjoy engaging with my team during our one-to-one supervision. Listening to their insights on what works effectively and what could we improve on, supporting and advocating for them, and then being able to witness the positive change we can make in our community and staff’s lives is incredibly rewarding. Our team of Social Workers and Counsellors collaborate well together, enabling our team to accomplish much more than we could when working alone, and for that, I’m grateful for the dedicated team I work alongside.

Could you please share a special and/or unforgettable moment/ story during your time in your role?

In my role as the SST Leader, I've come across many special and unforgettable moments, despite starting this journey relatively recently. One of the many memorable moments I've had in my role was when one of our Social Workers reached an impressive milestone of 19 years working with our organisation. It's an unforgettable experience to witness and reflect on the impact he has made over the years, touching the lives of countless communities through his work. This deeply resonates with the meaning behind our whakatauki — What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. Without people, we cannot achieve anything.


We are also thankful for the grant received from the Auckland Foundation's Grassroots Giving Programme in December 2023, which goes towards the salary of our SST Leader.