Cooper Sides

Kia ora, my name is Cooper - call me that, Coop or Coopers, whatever flows naturally for you! I’m gender non-binary and my pronouns are they/them.

I first joined the CYWC in 2005 when I started my career at 198 Youth Health Centre, joining Youthline and setting up what was originally the Ōtautahi Youth Council. After that, I did some time in youth mental health, ran a family violence course for children and young people in Napier, spent some years working with young men with sexually harmful behaviour and did a stint in Care and Protection. During my two years living in Hawkes Bay I realised how spoilt I had been as a youth worker in Ōtautahi with the connectiveness that CYWC promoted. It was actually part of my decision in why I moved back and joined the board. Life has taken me ‘full circle’ back to 298 where I work as a youth worker and lead a gender diverse group.

I am super thrilled to be able to support CYWC in being that connector for other youth workers and I am deeply passionate about ethical practise and the support and sustainability of youth work/ers. I’m my spare time I coach the local and national roller derby teams, admiring my newly acquired house plants and being bossed around by my cat!

Deputy Chairperson