Supporting families with disabled members to...

dream big,

think big,

and just do it

Service transformation is about living abundantly; it’s about valuing the communities we live in; it’s about valuing people and changing the power base; it’s about creating partnerships and alliances and supporting meaningful dialogue among people and communities we live in. It’s about being the change we want to see.


- Sue Robertson, Advisor and Family Leader


Family Network will help both you and your disabled family member to participate and contribute in all aspects of community life.

Family Network NZ is a family led non-profit agency. Our work is focused on supporting those family members with an intellectual disability to lead self directed lives. 


We work with families, their supporters and allies. 


Our commitment is to assist people and their families to think about what’s possible for securing their future, build the plan to bring that about and take action to live a great life.

Family Network NZ believes in the full inclusion of disabled people to live life in the ordinary places and spaces in our communities. Enabling Good Lives is an approach that offers greater choice and control over the supports people receive.    Belonging and connection are at the heart of relationship. It’s connection not control that cultivates cooperation, trust, love, resilience and independence.


Mothers of adults with intellectual disabilities, Bridget Snedden, Cindy Johns and Sue Robertson first met over 25 years ago.

The trio soon discovered they shared values in the way they wanted to raise their children; they were absolutely committed to the full inclusion of their children and would do whatever it took to make it happen.

Over the years, they developed their own style of leadership, and supported other families, to create ordinary lives for their children.

Now their children are fully grown, capable and independent adults living full, great lives, the families have joined forces to establish Family Network NZ.

Led by families, for families, Family Network NZ will act as an agent of change to help New Zealanders bring about positive transformation in the lives of disabled people, and their families.


Executive Director

A mother of a man who has Down Syndrome. As a parent, Bridget has mentored and supported many family leaders over the past 30 years.  She has acquired a good understanding of the role that families have in the crafting of fully inclusive lives for a disabled family member.  Bridget' professional and voluntary experiences have involved governance, service delivery, and management roles in the disability sector. It is work she is deeply passionate about.



A parent and chartered accountant with many years of experience in the commercial sector. Neil knows what it takes to bring about change within families, communities, systems, governance and policies that enable a family member to live well.



Cindy Johns has over 30 years of working in both the disability sector and in social services in voluntary and professional capacities. Cindy is a parent of a young man with an intellectual disability, she is a practiced presenter, advocate and facilitator and has led many successful projects. Cindy is national manager for People First and works part time for Joining the Dots.


Adviser and Family Leader

Has many years of experience as a teacher, parent support group coordinator, Intensive Service Coordinator (NASC), ASD Advisor, Project Manager, National Manager Family Strategy Workshop Facilitator, her influential role has been as a mother. 


Adviser and Family Leader

A parent of a teenager with intellectual disabilities, Jo has had over a decade of hands on experience dealing with intellectual disability in a family, education and community setting.  She is a strong advocate of inclusion in education and local communities.

Family Network NZ has a firm commitment to the full community inclusion of disabled people. It is our commitment to social justice and our belief that every New Zealander has the same right to live and enjoy a life like our neighbours and friends. "A life like any other" is what motivates us. 

– Bridget Snedden, Director



Family Network NZ believes in the following strategies, which are fundamental to creating good lives for disabled people and their families.

These strategies have been extensively researched and proven successful internationally.

Having a vision with your family member about what is possible; a plan; allies to turn to in times of need; and connecting with other families is important.

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  • Individual Lifestyle Design

  • PATH

  • MAP

  • Family Lead Planning

  • Sharing Stories

  • Circles of Support

  • Individualised funding

  • Building a Vision for the Future

  • Peer Support

  • Family Leadership

  • Creating a Vision for a good life

  • Building a Circle of Support  

  • Family Governed Collectives Seminar

  • Enabling Good Lives

“We aim to leave a positive legacy. How we organise our governance and social services, nurture our families, keep in touch with our neighbours, maintain our friendships, respond to the needs of friends and strangers alike, participate, volunteer, any activities that promote social inclusion and community development are the glue that binds us together and creates the kind of society most of us want to be in.”


- The Good Life. What makes a life worth living? By Hugh Mackay



For any inquiries, questions or commendations, please fill out the following form or contact us directly.

Thanks for submitting!


Ph: 021 353755


PO Box 107057

Auckland International Airport 

Auckland 2151

New Zealand

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