|Stacy Belser, South Island Regional Planning Coordinator, at the South Island Alliance Programme Office.|
From providing strategic planning for peacekeeping missions to ministerial support for public feedback on health services, Stacy Belser’s career was built on a desire to help people and improve systems from behind the scenes.
Originally from Nelson, Stacy attended the University of Canterbury to study political science and economics, before moving to Wellington to work for the Ministry of Health (MoH), followed by the Defence Force for five years. She says her time with the MoH was a great introduction to the health system. “I responded to parliamentary questions, letters from the public and drafted briefing papers, which meant I learnt so much across all areas of the sector.”
In 2012, moving to Invercargill with her husband Mike for his new engineering job was a fortuitous step towards Stacy’s current role. Her previous experience with the MoH helped her to land a role in communications for Southern DHB – which had an arrangement to provide communications support for the South Island Alliance, before its own in-house communications team was established.
Three years later, Stacy’s drive to improve health services meant a return to Wellington and the MoH. In 2015, a job change for her husband led the couple back to Christchurch, which happened to coincide with an opportunity to work at the South Island Alliance Programme Office again.
Now in her third year as South Island Regional Planning Coordinator, Stacy’s role involves coordinating the annual plan and reporting back to the MoH on progress, while also providing support to the Strategic Planning and Integration Team (SPaIT). “It’s really rewarding when everyone is on the same page and you can see that an idea is going to come to fruition, which ultimately means health services are going to be improved,” she says. “Also, the culture change – over time you can see change taking place in the way people are working together across the region.”
Stacy and Mike have two children, Abram (4) and Gwen (1), and recently finished building a home in Lincoln. In between creating a food forest garden on their property and attempting to renovate their 1970s caravan, Stacy is a keen photographer. She says the complexity of her role at the South Island Alliance makes it enjoyable and challenging. “There are so many different variables, constraints and drivers. It’s such a complex system and I find it fascinating.”