Ilka Hilton-Clarke


Diana Mahabir Wyatt

A Biographical Outline


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Diana Mahabir Wyatt graduated from Mc Gill University, Quebec, Canada in 1962, having worked in the field of Education, briefly teaching kindergarten and a primary school class in 1958 in Vald'Or, Quebec and at the Lady Hochoy Home For Retarded Children in Cocorite, Trinidad, in 1960.
She taught on a supply basis at St. Augustine Girls High School for a period in the early 60's and from 1963-1966 taught a survey course in communications skills at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.

In 1966, Diana Mahabir Wyatt joined the Employers' Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago, responsible for setting up supervisory and management training programmes and for handling general administration.
In 1969, she was appointed Director of the Association responsible for industrial relations consultancy, statistical research and publication, government relations, guidance to employers in labour and social security legislation, workers' participation in management and supervisory and management training. Serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Employers' Consultative Association and the Caribbean Employers' Confederation simultaneously for almost 15 years, she gave assistance to employers' federations throughout the Caribbean in management training, labour legislation and human resource development, writing numerous papers and articles on these subjects and identifying trends and developments in social, economic and labour matters in the West Indies. She liaised with regional bodies in Latin America on small business development and supervisory and vocational training and on the advancement of the position of women.

Ms Mahabir Wyatt served as a founding member of the National Training Board of Trinidad and Tobago and of the Registration, Recognition and Certification Board of Trinidad and Tobago on which she served for ten years.
She was also a member of the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee, set up under the Industrial Relations Act in the 70's to advise the Minister of Labour on changes to labour legislation in Trinidad and Tobago. She served on various other national committees dealing with personnel and industrial relations matters, including the Workman's Compensation/Employment Injury Committee, Severance Pay Legislation Committee, Freedom of Association Committee, National Flexi-Time Committee amongst others and participated as a representative of employers in Tripartite Conferences and Consultations prior to and leading up to enactment of the National Insurance Act and the Industrial Relations Act.

Ms Mahabir Wyatt was a founding member of the National Insurance Board, Board of Directors, from 1972-1985 and during that time served as Chairman of the Board's Personnel and Public Relations Committees and of its Art Committee and served as well as an alternate member of the NIB Investment Committee which handles the investment of all NIB funds. She has been, for many years, a member of the Boards of Directors of several private companies in Trinidad and Tobago and was appointed by the Government as a founder member of the National Productivity Council, the National Training Board and the Self help Commission on which she still serves.

In the international field, Ms Mahabir Wyatt has represented the interests of Caribbean employers on a committee to advise Ministers of Labour of the OAS and did so as well for many years at the CARICOM Ministers of Labour Standing Committee.
She served as an alternate member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization, and worked for many years with various international organizations in developing management, small business and vocational training projects throughout the Caribbean area.

Ms Mahabir Wyatt was an employers' delegate from Trinidad and Tobago to the ILO Conference in Geneva for 13 years and has represented employers in numerous commissions and committees in Trinidad and abroad on social and economic matters. For five years Ms Mahabir Wyatt was the Vice-Chairman of the ILO's Conference Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations and served as well on other ILO committees, mainly dealing with human and civil rights.

For fifteen years a weekly columnist on social, economic and political matters for one of Trinidad and Tobago's leading daily newspapers, Ms Mahabir Wyatt has also produced and presented a twelve segment T.V. presentation on violence against women and children, and acted as anchor on a two-hour daily news 'talk show'.
She is, as well, deeply involved in community development work, serving on the Boards of SERVOL, the National Self-Help Commission and the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

She is the Founder and patron on the Shelter, a Home for Battered Women and Children. She was a founder member of Junior Achievement and the Trinidad and Tobago Development Foundation which assists in the financing and development of small business and community development projects and is a member of the Caribbean Association For Feminist Research , the national Caucus of Women and the network of NGO's for the advancement of women.

In the field of culture, Ms Mahabir Wyatt has served on the boards of directors of The Tent Theatre, the National Carnival Commission and the early Trinidad Theatre Workshop, and worked with Pan Trinbago as House Manager of the bi-annual steelband festival during the decade of the 1980's. In 1990 several of her poems were published in the "Washerwoman" - the first anthology of poems by women of Trinidad and Tobago.

She is at present a Director in the consultancy firm of Personnel Management Services Limited in Trinidad and Tobago, which provides consultancy services over a broad spectrum of personnel and industrial relations areas and provides executive recruitment services and training in various aspects of personnel and management development. She is the author of numerous papers on industrial relations practices, procedures and systems and is a frequent lecturer in these topics in the Caribbean.

In 1991, as an Acting Senator, Ms Mahabir Wyatt was one of the chief supporters piloting through Parliament Trinidad and Tobago's Domestic Violence Act and continues to promote legislation dealing with social, educational and economic issues and with the protection of women and children from abusive situations.
She is actively involved with the Shelter For Battered and Abused Women and Children and serves as a counselling resource for women in abusive situations.

In 1991 Diana Mahabir Wyatt was formally appointed an Independent Senator by the President of the Republic in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.

Diana Mahabir Wyatt was married to Noel Wyatt in 1982. She is the mother of four children, three foster children and three step children and is the grandmother to their fourteen children.

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