Co-founder of The Lucy Foundation (New Zealand)
Robbie Francis is a young woman who has packed a lot into 28 years. Originally from the Waikato, Robbie has worked in the disability sector as a support worker, researcher/reporter for Attitude TV and as an intern for an international disability rights organisation. She has experience working with children and adults with disabilities in France, Bangladesh, India and Mexico and has also spearheaded research on gender, war and disability rights.
In 2014 Robbie co-founded The Lucy Foundation, a social enterprise committed to empowering people with disabilities by working with local communities to promote education, employment and a culture of disability inclusiveness through environmentally, economically and ethically sustainable trade. The Foundation’s first enterprise is based in Oaxaca, Mexico where they are working with locals with and without disabilities to promote a culture of disability inclusiveness, equality, human rights, training and employment through the production and export of speciality coffee to New Zealand.
Robbie is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, researching the experiences of people with disabilities during war. She is also on the Expert Reference Group advising the New Zealand Government on the new New Zealand Disability Strategy, a committee member of University of Otago Disability Matters a member of New Generation Rotary. Robbie has a lived experience of disability.