Sir Michael Jones

As well as being an All Blacks legend, successful former coach, and a national hero in his rugby career starting in the late 80s, Sir Michael ‘Ice Man’ Jones is still being recognised today for setting up community trusts and even a high school, designed to help Pacific children in New Zealand complete their education and achieve their goals. In 1990 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community. In 2003 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame for his achievements in rugby as an All Black and as a coach and player for Samoa. Most notably, he became a knight companion in 2017 for his services to the Pasifika community and youth. Sir Michael is married to Maliena and has three children.

From Sir Michael Jones:

“As Patron of Autism Connex, I am truly privileged and humbled to be associated with such a worthwhile and transformative initiative for our tamariki and their families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am moved and motivated by the passion and dedication of the impressive Board and leadership team plus the many volunteers who tirelessly serve this cohort of our community who previously have not been provided and supported to the extent that they deserve. Autism Connex’s vison “To encourage, to support, to celebrate families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder” speaks to the spirit and desire of founders Theresa Tongi and her colleagues, to make a real difference in the lives of our children and their whānau living with ASD.

Aroha, care and compassion underpins all of the work of Autism Connex. Ultimately, what inspires all of us associated with Autism Connex though, are the amazing tamariki who the Trust was set up to serve and cater for. Our children are our taonga and a gift to us all, seeing them live to their full potential within a thriving whānau that is best equipped and supported to journey with them, is at the very heart of this amazing work.

As Patron, on behalf of Autism Connex, we are very grateful for the support of the wider community. It is a truism that it takes a village to raise child – thank you for being a part of the ‘village’ in the lives of the Autism Connex children, so that they will thrive, flourish and fulfil their full potential in life.”