The Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury is a leading organisation in youth development in New Zealand. Our mission is to deliver programmes to children and young people that are proven to bring positive change and have a lasting impact on their well being.
We deliver these programmes to students aged 5 to 18 in 21 schools throughout Waimate, Chertsey, Timaru and Christchurch.
Our programmes reach over 3,370 students every week.
Presently we have three transformational programmes in Canterbury:
- Kiwi Can: our energy-packed, primary school programme, teaching positive relationships, values of respect, integrity and resilience, and developing the soft skills needed for our communities and workplaces of the future.
- Stars: a peer mentoring programme that empowers year 12 and 13 students at Linwood College and Hornby High School to support year 9 students with the challenging transition to high school. Through weekly group session lead by the senior students, adventure activity days to develop team work and trust, and a community project to enhance a sense of social responsibility and connection to community, Stars enhances resilience, mental health and well being of all students involved.
- Project K: impacts on a young person at an instrumental time in their lives. Working with year 10 students at Hornby High School, Project K focuses on building self-confidence, life skills and a healthy lifestyle through a wilderness camp, community projects, interaction with other young people and a positive relationship with an external adult mentor.
We help our students to build positive relationships, confidence, resilience, communication skills as well as cooperative learning. Today’s rangatahi and tamariki need to be supported to develop into resilient people who can cope and thrive amongst this ongoing evolution and disruption we experience in our world. They need to learn how to work together, understand other perspectives, collaborate for mutual success, and how to bounce back from setbacks.
Our programmes support the development of these skills and values, so our young people are able to overcome the challenges they face in life. We want every child to know what they have inside is greater than any obstacle.
Chris Davis – General Manager Canterbury Region
Chris joined the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury as General Manager in May 2019. His background is in the not for profit sector with roles at Ngai Tahu Tourism, Science Alive and World Vision. With World Vision, Chris was New Zealand Head of Schools and Youth Engagement, managing the national Schools Team rolling out emergency response campaigns, and the 40 Hour Famine to schools and tertiary institutions. Chris has an honours degree in Social Sciences and is also trained as a primary school teacher.
“I love working with teachers and students and seeing the way the programmes help the students to grow in confidence and to get them thinking about how they can be the best version of themselves. The programmes are so positive and the students respond so well to all of the positive feedback they get from the Graeme Dingle Foundation staff. The scale of what the Canterbury team are doing is huge – we have over 3300 students taking part in the programmes every week in Canterbury.”
Chris was born in Christchurch and has a strong connection to Canterbury and the South Island. He loves the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula and loves walking in the hills solo and with his family. Chris is married with 3 children.
Meet our Coordinators
Karla Guerin - Kiwi Can Coordinator
Karla joined the team in July 2017, bringing many years of teaching experience and having worked as a Community Support Worker for a community trust. In 2020, Karla won the Graeme Dingle Foundation National Excellence Award for Outstanding Programme Coordinator, recognising her amazing leadership of the Kiwi Can team and commitment to the tamariki in our programmes.
“I absolutely love my role here at the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury as I feel like I am a part of a team that is making a difference. I am proud of the Kiwi Can leaders and watching them with the students and seeing the transformation is just awesome. They are incredible role models for our tamariki and I believe our Kiwi Can programme is life changing.”
Karla and her husband Wayne run a “high end” Opshop in Papanui which supports various community outreaches including the homeless, families in need and ‘Zion Hip Hop Dance Studios.’
Karla was raised in sunny Nelson, moved to Christchurch to attend Teachers Training College, and now calls Christchurch home. She enjoys walking with the family dog Obi, singing and watching her 16 year old son play tennis.
Lucretia Treadgold - Stars Coordinator - Hornby High School
Lucretia joined our team in 2017 to support us with fundraising and events, and is the mastermind behind many of our successful fundraising activities. She also coordinates the Stars Programme at Hornby High School and says she "loves building relationships with the peer mentors and getting to know all the year 9s at the school".
As an adult student Lucretia completed a degree in Applied Management, majoring in Event Management and Operations, and a post grad in Marketing. She works her magic in many aspects of our operations and is known for bringing her positive attitude to everything she does.
Lucretia enjoys the outdoors and hanging with all her friends and whanau.
Kat Matheson - Project K Coordinator - Hornby High School
Kat has been the Project K Coordinator at Hornby High School since 2018 and beings a wealth of youth work experience to the team. Kat has worked within the youth sector for many years and she carries with her a lot of knowledge and wisdom. Her passion and joy comes when she can see the impact and change that the Graeme Dingle Foundation is having on our rangatahi.
Kat has a huge heart for all her students and is fully aware of the challenges they face. Kat loves watching them grow in confidence, their interactions with other young people, as well as the positive relationships with their mentors. She is her student's greatest and loudest cheerleader!
Whaia te pae tawhiti kia tata, whaia te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina
Seek out the distant horizons, cherish those you attain.
Kristen Frost - Stars Coordinator - Linwood College
Kristen moved from Adelaide with her family in September 2019, after falling in love with Aotearoa on a previous holiday. She has worked for the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury since January 2020, and is passionate about making a difference to the students and school community at Linwood College.
“The work we are doing is so powerful and has the potential to have long lasting impacts on the well being of our young people. I am always impressed at the enthusiasm and commitment the peer mentors have to the programme. They inspire me every day to do my best work.”
Kristen previously managed a youth centre for local government, and coordinated a volunteer mentoring programme at a women's shelter in central Adelaide. Kristen has a Diploma of Youth Work and a background in leadership development training and coaching.
Kristen enjoys getting outdoors with her family and two dogs, and learning about other cultures. She is terrible at baking and would rather spend her time at the beach.
Anne Hindson - Business Development Manager
Anne joined the team in October 2020 as a part time Business Development Manager, focusing on growing our supporter base and making connections within the business community. She brings experience in business development, sponsorship, events and project & general management.
Anne has managed a number of major projects including Regional Manager for Rugby World Cup 2011, Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup; APEC Science & Technology Ministerial & Associated Events. Most recently, Anne was GM for the NZ Rural Leadership Trust managing leadership programmes for the agri business sector. She has a Masters in Commerce & Management which she has applied in consultancy and management roles in the not for profit, public and private sectors including education.
“I love the programme outcomes delivered by the Graeme Dingle Foundation and want to be part of securing support for growing the programmes & services and the outcomes”
A keen cyclist, tennis player and walker, Anne has a partner Barry and two adult children and now two gorgeous grandchildren!
Meet our Kiwi Can Leaders
Chris Morland - Kiwi Can Leader
Chris joined the team in 2018 as a Kiwi Can leader in primary schools in Christchurch. He loves working for the Graeme Dingle Foundation and we are very fortunate to have him in our team, as he is an amazing, inspiring Kiwi Can leader.
It has been a long journey for Chris to discover how to use his skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of others. After serving in the British Army for 8 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, he decided the best way to have a positive impact was to teach and work with children and young people.
Chris loves a good adventure and getting lost outdoors in the wilderness. He skis as much as he can in the winter, surfs in the summer, and explores new mountains when he can.
Connor Watson - Kiwi Can Leader
Connor has been part of our Kiwi Can team since October 2018, working in primary schools, intermediate and high schools teaching the Kiwi Can values. His background includes study in education, Youth Work and Human Resources.
"I could not imagine a better job than working for Kiwi Can. I believe in giving children guidance so that they are able to form their own opinions and create decisions that they are happy with. As well as teaching them skills that are both beneficial inside and outside of school."
Outside of work you can find Connor swimming at the bay, grabbing coffee or cooking food for his whanau. Connor's favourite food is gummy worms.
Gabby Lilleyman - Kiwi Can Leader
Inspired by her experience as a primary school student participating in the Kiwi Can programme, Gabby became a Kiwi Can Leader in 2019. Gabby leads students in Kiwi Can activities across primary schools in Timaru.
"In primary school Kiwi Can made me feel really good about myself and taught me so many vital life skills. I feel honoured that I get to have a positive influence on our amazing tamariki. I love when I see their development and when they're soaking up all the knowledge offered to them. I love all their creative and insightful ideas too."
Gabby has a fitness background and Diploma in Advanced Exercise Prescription. She grew up with a love of singing, dancing, design, art, music and drama. Gabby still loves to sing and dance, and also enjoys reading, spending time with family, going to the gym, and eating lots of food!
Hayley Young - Kiwi Can Leader
Hayley is one of our wonderful Kiwi Can leaders in Christchurch and has been on the team since 2018. When hearing about the role, Hayley didn't hesitate to apply. She knew it would be a fantastic way to kickstart her career.
"My favourite part of my role is seeing the same smiley faces every week and being able to form strong lasting relationships. The kids never forget you."
Before joining the Kiwi Can team Hayley studied Travel and Tourism at Ara institute of Canterbury. She has always had a passion for working with people and grew up wanting to be a teacher.
In her spare time, Hayley enjoys relaxing in the sun and spending time with her friends & family.
Owen Norman - Kiwi Can Leader
Owen has been a Kiwi Can leader in Christchurch since 2017, and the students absolutely love him! Owen is very positive, bright, cheerful and passionate about education, so he relates to his students very well. Owen has grown up around educators and wants to be a teacher like a lot of his whanau.
Owen enjoys spending time with friends and family, and trying to stay out of trouble (his words not ours!).
Seddon Smith - Kiwi Can Leader
Seddon started with our team in 2018 working as a Kiwi Can leader. Seddon is an amazing role model for all our students, and loves to encourage and help our tamariki to find their strengths.
Previously Seddon worked for Youth Town where he gained a lot of experience working with children and young people.
Seddon is also the Basketball Development Manager for Hagley College and he enjoys playing basketball and going to the gym. He has a great sense of humour and keeps the rest of the team entertained!
Stephen Iosefa - Kiwi Can Leader
Having joined our team in August 2020, Stephen is an energetic Kiwi Can leader who loves his job. He has a huge heart for making a difference with tamariki, and carries a massive amount of mana!
Vicki Johnson - Kiwi Can Leader
Vicki joined the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury team in 2019 as a Kiwi Can Leader in Timaru, Waimate and Makikihi, where she works alongside her teaching buddy Gabby.
Vicki absolute loves her role and has a great appreciation for what the programme teaches the students. " I love how the elements of what is being taught can be used in everyday life by the students, and knowing they have many new tools to add to their kete after every session".
Previously Vicki worked as a swim instructor and a music teacher, and has an Honours degree in Linguistics and English.
Vicki enjoys running, gardening and cats.
Meet our Board of Trustees
Mark Dingle - Board Chair
Mark was inspired to join as a Board Trustee in 2016 after hearing Sir Graeme Dingle speak about the work and objectives of the Foundation. The values of the organisation resonated strongly with him and the positive impact the programmes were having in the lives of young people was clearly evident.
In 2017 Mark became the Canterbury Board Chair using his expertise in organisational governance and strategic planning to guide the foundation towards future growth. The goal is to discover new pathways to deliver added benefits to even more Kiwi youth.
In 2020 Mark signed up to become a mentor on the Foundation’s flagship programme, Project K. The rewards have been immense; “I see it as a chance to directly encourage and support my young person. Being able to make even the smallest influence has been a very humbling experience”.
Along with the wealth of knowledge and experience Mark has in his professional life, he is also a man of many talents at home. Whether it’s tending to his bee hives, marshalling races at the local speedway, hitting the slopes for a touch of skiing or spending time with his whānau, Mark keeps himself busy saying, “it’s never a chore if you are doing things you love”.
Charlene Sell - Trustee
Claire Bourne - Trustee
Claire joined the Canterbury Board as a Trustee in 2018, having been involved in many community projects supporting the development of children across the region. Claire describes her driving purpose as “enabling tamariki to succeed”. She is passionate about people and communities, which is evident in her work creating Whenua Whanāu, a community development initiative to establish organisational scholarships focused at māori wahine. Since 2015 Claire has also been a ‘Big Sister’ to Irihāpeti through the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation.
Claire grew up in Northland and calls Russell home. Claire started her Human Resources career in 2006 after graduating from Canterbury University with a Bachelor of Arts. Claire is currently the Group Culture and Capability Manager for an Australasian Agribusiness. Claire’s achievements include being awarded the HRNZ HR Volunteer of the Year, selected as a Committee for Canterbury future leader and selected as a Global Women breakthrough leader.
Grant Day - Trustee
Originally from Christchurch, Grant has now lived in Timaru with his wife Stacey for 19 years, after moving to South Canterbury while working for Silver Fern Farms. For the past seven years Grant has worked for Sanford as Site Manager at Sanford’s Timaru Site, and this is where his interest and passion for the Graham Dingle Foundation was ignited.
With a broad experience in management within primary industry, and as a retired Lieutenant Colonel, after a 23 year career in the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army, he brings a range of leadership skills and personal insights to the Canterbury Board of Trustees. With his two adult daughters having left home, there is now an opportunity to give back to the community and in particular Kiwi Can, helping today’s children become resilient adults in the future.
"I love seeing the change that KiwiCan is making in primary school children throughout the South Canterbury region through the enthusiasm and leadership of the Graeme Dingle Foundation leaders." Grant enjoys mountain biking, camping and outdoor adventures with Stacey.
Kylie Meyer - Trustee
Kylie joined the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury Board as a Trustee in 2017 when she was seeking opportunities to gain governance experience. The work we do in our programmes is closely aligned and connected to her own family values, as her father founded and ran a youth trust for underprivileged children some years ago.
Kylie is a Business Advisory Partner at Grant Thornton, and oversees the finance role for GDF Canterbury. Kylie finds her role on the Board very rewarding on both a professional and personal level. She says it doesn’t cost you anything to share your professional skills and time for charity. She encourages all young professionals to use their skills to help in the community.
Kylie is a busy mum, juggling and trying to balance the varying demands of work and family life.
Kylie Williams - Trustee
Our Project K programme drew Kylie to the Board in 2018. She liked that it is offered at year 10, right when our rangatahi are often struggling to appreciate their unique value, and how the mentorship component teaches them that their potential is limitless.
“I believe we have a social responsibility to empower our young people to make their mark on the world. They have the energy and passion to create our future, but not every young person has the luxury to think big. Many battle daily challenges out of their control and we’re losing those voices. I’m proud to support a team that gives Canterbury’s rangatahi the space, confidence, and tools they need to realise their full potential – and ours.”
An Aotearoa-based global marketing consultant, Kylie enjoys volunteering her governance skillset to support charities that enrich our communities. She hopes to see Project K expand throughout Canterbury, allowing more of our young people to flourish.
When not travelling offshore, Kylie can be found exploring the South Island and its surrounds with her partner and their energetic puppy.
Nick Pope - Trustee
Nick is our newest member to the Board having joined us in 2020, and is a Chartered Accountant by day and a Community Champion by night! Nick got involved with the Foundation as he truly believes in the impact the various programmes can have on a young child’s life.
Nick has a real passion for the outdoors and thinks that the Wilderness Challenge the young people take on in Project K is a great way for them to learn some invaluable life skills, and hopefully unlock many of their hidden strengths and capabilities.
Nick has learnt a huge amount about himself through similar experiences which have shaped him into who he is today.
Tanya Cooke - Trustee
Tanya joined the Board of Trustees for the Graeme Dingle Foundation Canterbury in 2018 as she felt the foundation strongly aligned with her values.
Tanya is currently the Fundraising and Marketing Manager of Cholmondeley Children’s Centre in Governors Bay, Christchurch and has over 10 years of global experience working for children’s charities including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Child Cancer Foundation - NZ, Barnardos - UK and The Joshua Tree - UK.
Tanya is also a Board of Trustee for Big Brothers Big Sisters New Zealand and is extremely passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of our tamariki.