National Care-Experienced Youth Participation Advisor
Ko Mary-Lynn Huxford tōku ingoa.
No Te Whanganui-a-tara ahau.
Kei Tamaki Makaurau ahau e noho ana i tenei wa.
Mary-Lynn is a passionate advocate for pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi in New Zealand's state care system. Her early years were marked by separation from her siblings in state care, motivating her advocacy for child-centered policy reform and youth participation.
She has been instrumental in legislative changes, reducing the review time in the oversight of Oranga Tamariki System bill from 5 to 3 years. In 2022, Mary-Lynn served as Vice-Chair of the VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai National Youth Council and represented New Zealand internationally. In 2023, she was honored in the YWCA Y25 list of trailblazing wāhine under 25 and has worked with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.
As a firm believer in the power of youth voice, she works to empower the next generation of leaders and currently serves as the National Care-Experienced Youth Participation Advisor at VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai. Her dedication is focused on improving the lives of the 4,000-6,000 Kiwi kids within the system.