Young JP looking forward to leadership challenge

Valerie Tan
Valerie Tan
Dunedin clinical psychologist Valerie Tan (30) is looking forward to the challenge of being one of the country's youngest justices of the peace.

Dr Tan was sworn in at a ceremony in the city on Monday, and was yesterday ''quite humbled'' by the honour, which would extend her experience and ''leadership as a young person''.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said yesterday Dr Tan was not the youngest JP in the country but was among a small group of the country's youngest JPs.

Malaysian-born, Dr Tan said she was pleased to bring her background to the new role as JP, including as a ''trilingual'' speaker of Malay, Mandarin and English.

She had also served for the past two years as an executive committee member of the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council, and a committee member of Shakti Women's Refuge, the latter supporting women from several ethnic groups.

A clinical psychologist at the Southern District Health Board, Dr Tan has lived in Dunedin for the past 10 years.

''I'm definitely keen to include people of any background, ethnicity or age,'' she said of her work as a JP.

''This is really nice, to be given the opportunity to serve at this age.''


As a fellow JP, welcome Valerie. We need more younger ones like you, and from different backgrounds. Far too many JPs are well past their use by date and often there for the title, not making themselves available.
Many don't realise but its a voluntary role and can be quite onerous at times with many wanting you to bend the rules to suit their needs.
It is getting to the stage now where the duties are beyond that of volunteers. It is drummed in to us that our role is to serve and not there for the honour. But interestingly the public consider a JP with far more respect than they do someone with a QSM.



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