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Learn more about Thomas Sullivan, Maybo Trainer and human rights advocate. Thomas takes us on a journey through his past roles, concluding with him joining us as a Trainer.
Thomas graduated from Elmhurst University, USA, with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and intercultural studies. Immediately after, he was offered a position in New Zealand and relocated over 8,000 miles away from his home in Wisconsin.
After meeting his partner and deciding to settle in the country, he enrolled in a master's degree in Human Rights. During his Master’s, he explored what people are entitled to and the steps that should be taken to realise people’s rights. For his final project, he had an opportunity to work with local youth to hear their perspectives on complex issues. During his first degree, Thomas developed a keen interest in studying disability through different lenses. He wanted to delve deeper to find new ways to assist and shine a light on those in need. That is why he chose to study the unique perspectives of vulnerable and marginalised people, focusing on disabled people.
“It felt like a natural progression to go from generally exploring different viewpoints in my undergrad to then exploring these ideas further in my master’s,” Thomas says.
While undertaking his Master's, Thomas worked as a support worker at Spectrum Care. He chose to do this to occupy his free time with a meaningful activity that would benefit the community and give him real-world experience with the individuals he wanted to help.
Whilst working as a trainer, Thomas was able to improve the support plans of three individuals. He was proud of helping one individual in particular. With Thomas’s guidance, this person’s care plan adapted to focus more on preventative measures rather than restrictive practices. This meant the individual could then concentrate on their relationships and the activities they enjoyed.
“They are probably one of my biggest success stories, enabling the support team to rethink some of the things that were happening and making a difference. I'm thrilled that I was able to push the boundaries of my role into a more clinical space and enable the correct preventative measures to be put in place for their needs,” Thomas states.
After impressing the learning development team at one of his organisation’s monthly training sessions, Thomas was asked to join the company as a Positive Behaviour Support Trainer. Once he had developed his skills in this role and became a Maybo training expert, Thomas stumbled across a job listing for a Maybo Trainer role in New Zealand, which sounded perfect for him. After much consideration and a rigorous hiring process, Thomas joined the team and started in January 2023.
One of the critical factors for Thomas' decision to apply for the New Zealand Trainer role is that his values strongly align with Maybo training. As an advocate for human rights, Thomas appreciates that a human rights approach is part of the training modules. He is also passionate about non-discrimination and treating everyone with respect, which is part of every training module. Thomas also appreciates that learners are taught to understand mistakes in a non-judgmental way so that measures can be implemented.
He admires the tailored approach to training that Maybo offers, ensuring clients get programmes that address their needs. Most importantly, he loves that enabling positive and safer outcomes is a core value at Maybo.
Thomas is particularly excited to assist in growing the business in New Zealand. He can’t wait for the opportunity to expand his knowledge and have a meaningful impact by training others.
Thomas will be situated in New Zealand and will deliver all our modules.