with Women.

“It is through working with the women that we will change the destiny of the children.”


Celia’s work with women was based on her experience as Manager of Christchurch Women’s Prison.
After several years working within the New Zealand Prison Service she came to understand that to unravel the complex issues needing attention within New Zealand’s at-risk families, we need to start with the women. 
We will see the changes we have been seeking when these women come to know and believe that their decisions matter, that they hold the destiny of their children in their hands, and that they can overcome the impact of their own traumatic childhoods.

The Journey to Prison

Email to order. All profits go to the Celia Lashlie Trust to continue Celia's work.
It started with: “There is a blond, angelic-faced five year-old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison… on his way, he will probably kill someone.” This was the statement from Celia Lashlie that ripped open a controversy in 2001. The book that followed explores her prophecy. It examines the origins of crime, the way we punish offenders, the effectiveness of our prisons and why our communities need to be involved.

The Power of Mothers

Email to order. All profits go to the Celia Lashlie Trust to continue Celia's work.
This book picks up from where Journey to Prison ended after Celia left Corrections in 1999 as Manager of Christchurch Women's Prison. It explores her belief through the many projects she's now involved with that the mothers, the grandmothers and the matriarchs have the power to change the lives of at-risk families, especially the children.

When We walk to the Edge of All the Light…

The seductive nature of the modern world allows us as human beings to believe we are in charge. In today’s world we think we are in charge. Technological advances and intellectual knowledge we continue to acclaim, leaves us with the sense that we are in control and that there is enough time…

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Press Release: Celia Lashlie Terminally Ill

Author, researcher and social commentator, Celia Lashlie has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, her family revealed today. Celia was hospitalised after Christmas and a scan revealed pancreatic cancer. Her condition has deteriorated significantly in the last six weeks. “Late…

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Women's Work: The reality behind the headlines

On the morning of Friday 17 October 2014 Social Development Minister Anne Tolley issued a press release in which she welcomed the news that the latest benefit figures showed there were over 10,000 fewer people on welfare in September 2014 compared to September 2013, with more than 70% of those…

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Celia's Work

Finding the Matriarch

Celia believes that within every at-risk family in New Zealand, there is a matriarch, a woman who determines the values and focus of the family, for good or for bad. It is when these women are connected, or reconnected, to the power they hold that real and positive change can occur in the lives of the children within the family.

Celia works in a variety of ways in a number of communities assisting those working at the coalface to identify and build positive relationships with these matriarchs.

Following the Journey

Celia has continued to be involved with the family that features in her book The Power of Mothers: Releasing our children.

Lessons continue to be learned by all involved as the two small boys at the centre of the story grow towards adolescence and their foster family continues to grapple with the issues that underpin their early life experience.

Through the ongoing work of ‘Alison’ the boys have strong links to their birth family siblings and a sense of connection with their history.

Collecting the Stories

As part of her passion to speak for women who are unable to speak for themselves, Celia has a strong interest in collecting and telling the stories of the women at the centre of at-risk families. Her experience has led her to believe that middle New Zealand remains largely unaware of the reality of the lives being lived by these women.

She is regularly humbled by the strength and determination she sees within the women she meets in the course of her work, while also being saddened by the stories of their journey she can see imprinted on their faces.

Whakakotahitanga Family Violence Programme

Aweekend programme in which five couples spend time together in a rural setting investigating ways in which they can eliminate violence from their relationships and find the courage to help their children live lives different to the ones they have led.

Celia’s focus in this work is on reinforcing to the women the importance of their role as mother to their children and the ways in which their own history of abuse, violence and neglect can and does impact on their ability to parent well.

Professional Development Seminars

Seminars held with teachers, social workers and other frontline staff. The focus of the seminars is on making the connection between the lives being led by some of the children in this country and the power of teachers and others involved with these children to make a real and positive difference.

The underlying premise is that every child is born pure and full of magic and the adults working with these children can be the weavers of that magic, even in the face of adverse home circumstances. does impact on their ability to parent well.

Social/Corporate Responsibility

Too many of us think that the negative social statistics aren't our concern as they don't impact on us directly. One day they will. It could be your son, your brother or your father who is killed in an unprovoked attack by an angry young man.

We, the taxpayers are spending $100,000 per year per prisoner and that bill will continue to grow if we don’t make some real changes.

Celia is committed to helping organisations and companies understand the part they can play in making a real difference to the economy and the future of all New Zealanders.

Do you have an idea you would like to share with Celia?

Would you like to check Celia’s availability to speak at your event?

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

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