About Celia Lashlie and the work since her death


A researcher and social commentator, Celia Lashlie worked for 15 years within the Prison Service, starting in December 1985 as the first woman to work as a prison officer in a male prison in New Zealand. Her final role within the Service was as Manager of Christchurch Women’s Prison, a position she left in September 1999. In September 2004, she completed the ‘Good Man’ project. The project, which facilitated discussion within and between 25 boys’ schools throughout New Zealand, aimed to create a working definition of what makes a good man in the 21st century. Celia wrote three books; The Journey to Prison: Who goes and why,  He’ll Be Ok, Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men and The Power of Mothers: Releasing Our Children. Celia passed away from pancreatic cancer in February 2015.


Generous Givealittle funders

At the time of Celia Lashlie’s sudden death, a special Givealittle page was set up to honour her work and to give people the opportunity to support the projects close to Celia's heart. Thanks to the generosity of New Zealanders who gave to this first Givealittle appeal and a subsequent appeal, we were able to start this vital work. We were able to:

  • Support the NZ Portrait Gallery’s commission of a portrait of Celia as their next great New Zealander and create the associated sound portrait (both created by Celia's dear friend Heather Main).
  • Fund some initial research, and transcribe and edit Celia’s final interview, recorded just two days before she passed away.
  • Support the launch of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Celia’s best-selling book He’ll Be Ok – Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men.
  • Support a Celia Lashlie Seminar at Victoria University organised and supported by Kim Workman and the Stout Research Centre.


This funding is still making a difference today, for example:

  • It is supporting the pilot of a Wahine Toa programme at a school in Porirua. A programme inspired by the messages in Celia's book, The Power of Mothers.
  • It has contributed to some travel expenses for a family visiting a family member at Arohata's Upper Prison (at Rimutaka). They were travelling from Auckland every weekend.



In her final interview (just days before she passed away), Celia shared the priorities and the work that she so desperately wanted to see realised that would make a difference to the lives of so many families here in New Zealand. This has been the centrepiece for the development of the documentary, Celia.

We were able to support some of the pre-production activities for the documentary through donations from very generous Givealittle donors received late 2017/early 2018. It was via this appeal that Garry Robertson heard about the documentary and approached Amanda Millar. Garry very generously agreed to provide the rest of the funding required to make the documentary.

Celia, is being released as part of the NZ International Film Festival in August and September 2018. 


The Celia Lashlie Trust

Celia's vision was to bring about societal change through working with women, and particularly to improve the lives being led by women at the heart of at risk families. The Celia Lashlie Trust (planned to be in place in August/September 2018) is determined to support those who work and live to make positive change for women and families, and where possible start and fund initiatives that contribute to this vision.


Every child is born pure and filled with their own particular brand of magic.

Contact Celia

You can contact the Celia Lashlie Trust by filling out the form below or emailing celialashlietrust@gmail.com

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