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Profile - Louise Carr

Louise is currently the CEO of Pact, a charitable trust supporting people to live fulfilling lives in the community. She attended St Hilda's from 1971-75. Louise left St Hilda’s to spend a year in the USA as the second AFS student from St Hilda’s. She returned to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago, completing an honours degree in History and English. Louise went on to train as a secondary school teacher but due to a downturn at the time in teaching numbers, she never actually taught. Louise married and moved to Auckland where she worked for Lampen, a recruitment organisation. She left this when her daughter Alexandra (also a St Hilda’s Old Girl) was born and the family moved back to Dunedin. Two more children followed (Charlotte, also an Old Girl, and Rupert). Louise returned to work at the Regional Health Authority where she remained (though restructured thrice) until Pact. She has held numerous national positions in health related organisations as well as serving for three years as a member of the Otago, then Southern District, Health Board

Louise has been the CEO of Pact since 2001. Pact supports people recovering from mental illness, with intellectual disabilities and, more recently, people in prison or transitioning from prison into the community. Pact is based in Dunedin (just down the road from St Hilda’s) and provides services in Otago, Southland, West Coast and the lower North Island. It is funded by various government ministries and their services are free. Pact supports over a thousand clients with over $30 million in government funding.

Louise says: “My time at St Hilda’s gave me a broad education, both academically and spiritually. It helped engender compassion for those less fortunate than our young selves and a desire to better the world we live in. A strong focus on social justice also arose during my time at school. Little did I know where serendipity would lead me in my career but my current role provides ample opportunity to fulfil all of these interests.”

In her spare time, Louise spends as much time as possible in Bannockburn where she has a holiday house. She now has two grandchildren who “are the light of my life”. She belongs to two book groups and one epicurean group which speak to her wider interests. She also enjoys cultural pursuits as an observer rather than as a participant.

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