CEO Colleen Fakalogotoa pays tribute to a much loved member of staff
On Tuesday the 25th April 2017, ANZAC day, our colleague Tracey Totua passed away. Tracey was under treatment for lung cancer, radiation and chemotherapy. While experiencing her second course of chemotherapy, Tracey succumbed to an infection and died suddenly and unexpectedly. We were all certain and Tracey herself was expecting to return to work late May.
Tracey had worked for Family Start Manukau for six and half years. She was well qualified and mixed post graduate study with her social work practice. She did valuable work. She was able to engage families, even those who wanted to remain distant. She was a mentor to students on placement and a support to new staff. She has become a very experienced Social worker, and skilled practitioner.
She had more recently been working as a Lead Professional in The Children’s Team, ‘seconded’ to that role and working with very high need whanau. It was at this time that she discovered she had cancer.
Tracey was of Samoan and European descent. As a person Tracey was a woman of integrity who never had a bad word to say about anyone. If there were things that needed addressing she would do so face to face. She was calm and considerate, reserved and unassuming and never self-seeking. Most the time you barely knew she was there. She disliked having her photo taken, so photos of her are rare. Her life was not always easy but she met each challenge as it came. She did not hold grudges. She loved her children and her mokopuna, they gave her joy. She had a quiet & strong faith. She was well loved and will be missed by all her colleagues at FSM.