Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough’s mission is to deliver programmes that are proven to bring positive changes to the lives of young people at the top of the south.
Presently we have two transformational programmes in Marlborough:
- 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.
- Career Navigator: our unique mentoring programme helping our secondary school students find appropriate career pathways, and developing strong connections between our young people and industries.
Today’s fast-paced technological change impacts on many levels within society; from education to employment, from communication to recreation. Our children need to learn skills and strategies to develop into resilient people who can cope and thrive amongst this ongoing evolution and disruption. 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 youth are able to overcome the challenges they will inevitably face in life. We want every Marlborough child to know what they have inside is greater than any obstacle.
Kelvin Watt – Regional Manager
From a rural upbringing in the deep south to various undertakings around the globe, Kelvin was originally attracted to Marlborough through work at Outward Bound. With a background in experiential education and personal development the step across to the Graeme Dingle Foundation in 2012 was a small one.
Kelvin’s an absolute ball of positive energy and to say he’s passionate about making a difference for the community and young people of Marlborough would be an understatement!
“I love talking with schools and whānau about the changes they see in their kids – I’m really proud to be part of the team bringing Kiwi Can and Career Navigator to over 50% of kids across Marlborough.”
Kelvin is also a key point of contact for all our sponsors, and with his infectious enthusiasm, it is no wonder we are privileged to have built up such a strong support base in Marlborough.
Kelvin enjoys adventures (with backpack, paddles or pedals) in the Marlborough outdoors – and nowadays these are usually shared with his 3 daughters.
Lisa Preece – Career Navigator Coordinator
Lisa is an incredibly dedicated, innovative and positive person, bringing real attention to detail and professionalism to the role. “It’s more than just a job to me, I really believe in our young people and their potential, and I’m excited to be making a difference.”
She has played a vital part in ensuring the success of the Career Navigator programme here in Marlborough. Lisa genuinely believes in the power of Career Navigator to change lives and has built a strong team of mentors and supporters around her that feel the same way.
Lisa explains, “I believe that if you’re exposed to opportunities and good connections in life – and make use of them – you’ll go far, function well in all aspects of life, and set a good example for the generations to come. So, if I can help people in some way in this capacity (and I see my role in Career Navigator doing this), then I’m hooked!”
When she’s not working with our students and mentors, Lisa can be found doing adventurous things like tramping, travelling, and climbing mountains in Nepal (no, really!)
Tania Smith – Career Navigator Facilitator
Tania helps Marlborough students navigate their way through the countless career opportunities presented to them – to help them find a meaningful career pathway, through our Career Navigator programme.
Tania brings over 12 years’ training and coaching experience to the role, and says: “Career Navigator is an exciting opportunity for me to work with our students and use my coaching experience to bring out the best in them. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing how the students develop and, through the programme, come to trust in their decision-making process.”
In her early working life Tania worked for the New Zealand Customs Service before finding her calling in coaching. Tania has been a personal trainer and health coach, worked in a variety of gyms, workplace wellness programmes and even in the Mediterranean on cruise ships! These days outside of work Tania is kept incredibly busy by family life, with two young sons – as well as studying part-time to complete her diploma in professional coaching.
Bronwen Laird – Communications and Marketing Specialist
Bronwen’s role is officially “Communications and Marketing Specialist” but we call her our “Chief Storyteller”. She’s our resident wordsmith. Her role is to prepare our materials which go out into the community in various ways and forms – for children, schools, parents and whānau, for grant funders and sponsors, and for media and social media.
“My job is really helping to share the story about what we are doing here at Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough. I really enjoy working for organisations whose values align with mine, and the Graeme Dingle Foundation is teaching children about integrity, respect, resilience and positive relationships – as well as the skillsets they need for the communities and workplaces of the future. It’s magic! I’m proud to be involved, and it’s a fantastic story to have the privilege to tell.”
When she’s not writing for us, Bronwen works part-time with a couple of other successful New Zealand companies on their marketing and communications – and she also works hard on her ‘work-life balance’ (especially making sure she keeps time for her family).