Dave Burnside was born in Pukekohe to English and Scottish parents. He grew up on the North Shore in Auckland. He has a lived experience of mental distress, addiction and incarceration, spending 37 years in the chaos of addiction and offending. Today Dave is a proud father, with a passion for art, music and the environment. He has a rich life in recovery, involved in service to others, celebrating his transformation and reconnection to the community.

After his last release from prison in 2011, Dave worked as a peer support worker for over five years in Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua (The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court) following its launch in 2012. He is now Consumer Advisor for Odyssey after developing and managing a team of peer support workers based at the Odyssey Adult programme. Dave is passionate about recovery, helping others find the support they need to find change and the development of the peer and consumer workforce. He was presented with the first ever dapaanz (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand) award for Excellence in Peer Support in 2017.

Dave has also worked hard at various University studies. He started studying by correspondence in 2008, completing a Diploma in Environmental Management. In 2014 he enrolled with AUT and has just completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Science. As part of He Ture Kia Tika Dave will complete a Masters in Law. He will draw on the whānau stories we collect to explore key turning points that have an impact on reducing re-offending, and in turn re-think parole and corrections laws based on these findings.

Dave feels privileged to be involved in He Ture Kia Tika and is excited about the potential of the project to give a voice to people whose lived experience has enabled them to overcome significant trauma, stigma and discrimination to become agents of change.
He became involved in project through Katey and Stella and their rangahau on Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua and together they created a digital story on peer support that you can watch below.

Peer support in Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua, filmed and produced by Adam Jones

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