DG Gary (R) presented Dr Robbie Francis (L) with a Paul Harris Fellow award at the 2019 Rotary Youth Leadership Award dinner on 5 July 2019.  Robbie is a truly outstanding individual who has spoken at NZ district events and spoke at this year’s D9920 RYLA.
In 2009 Robbie won the Attitude ACC Supreme Award at the age of 20.  In 2010 she was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study Peace and Conflict resolution in Israel.

In 2013 Robbie was given the opportunity to intern for an international disability rights group in Mexico.  Having witnessed first-hand the shocking conditions many people with disabilities are forced to live in, she decided to become an active part of the solution.  So in 2014 Robbie and her friends founded The Lucy Foundation, an organisation empowering people with disabilities.

Robbie is particularly passionate about developing more inclusive, safer and peaceful communities through sustainable and collaborative initiatives.  Having studied International Conflict Resolution and Mediation in Israel-Palestine, Robbie recently passed with no revisions, her PhD at the University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.  The focus of her research was inclusive and accessible research methodologies and the experiences of people with disabilities during conflict and displacement.  She is also on the Expert Reference Group advising the New Zealand Government on the 2016-2026 Disability Strategy and the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, a committee member of University of Otago Disability Matters and the Project Manager of the 2018 Attitude Awards.
Between her foundation and her NZ based partners, John Burton Coffee and others, they have developed the world’s first value chain of coffee growers through to finished product sellers which is inclusive of disabled people throughout the chain from “seed to cup”.