Tanya Cumberland

Pākehā - 1st generation - parents from Yorkshire, England

Tanya worked for twenty years as a social worker and trainer in different Department of Social Welfare locations. At the time of the Women's Antiracism Action Group research, she held a senior 'Development' position in Auckland Regional Office of the Department of Social Welfare which involved working with community groups and colleagues to improve services to clients of the Department of Social Welfare. Her Development role was disestablished after publication of the Women's Antiracism Action Group Report. Tanya changed careers to become an organic Gardener and Educator.

The story of the Women’s Anti Racism Action Group (W.A.R.A.G) 1982 – 1985.

"Members of the Women’s Anti Racism Action Group were feminist women staff members working in the Department of Social Welfare Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Department of Social Welfare was the then central government agency with responsibility for income support and child welfare.

We will tell the story of why we formed, describe the context of the time, how we developed as a group, why we published the report “Institutional Racism-DSW Tāmaki Makaurau” (1984) and what it covered.

We will consider the impact of our work within the institution of Department of Social Welfare and beyond, the personal impact on our individual members, and also what we have learned from our experience of trying to change an institution from the inside.

You can read the report here: https://trc.org.nz/sites/trc.org.nz/files/Institutional%20Racism%20WARAG.pdf

Tanya Cumberland