Graeme Dingle Foundation Southern’s mission is to deliver programmes that are proven to bring positive changes to the lives of young people at the bottom of the south.

Presently we have three transformational programmes in Southern:

  • 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: Currently run in Wakatipu High School, Stars is a 12-month mentoring programme that supports, motivates and positively reinforces Year 9 students during their first year in secondary school.
  • Career Navigator: Our unique ready-for-work programme helping our secondary school students find appropriate career pathways, and developing strong connections between our young people and industries.

Our children need to learn skills and strategies to develop into resilient people who can cope and thrive in our fast-paced 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 youth are able to overcome the challenges they will inevitably face in life.

We want every Southern young person to know what they have inside is greater than any obstacle.  


Male Kiwi Can Leader
Alan Steele
Female Kiwi Can Leader

Dave Gibbs - Southern General Manager

Phone: 0226390191

Email Dave

Alan Steele - Career Navigator Coordinator

Meet Alan. Born in Newcastle, Australia, Alan moved to Invercargill in 2002 and hasn't looked back. Inspired by his values of wanting to help and inspire people to have the skills to create a meaningful pathway for themselves combined with over 20 years of working with youth in the education sector makes him the perfect member of the Career Navigator team as a Coordinator. Better yet, Alan understands what it’s like for students who aren't sure what they want to do after high-school. Prior to his career in education he studied Electrical Engineering, ran his own handy-man business and worked numerous labouring jobs. Alan also likes to share all of his good traits with the youth he works with including but not limited to: good work ethics, communication skills, positive attitude, resilience and a willingness to learn! Outside of his role with the Graeme Dingle Foundation Southern, Alan likes spending time with his family.

Email Alan

Jennifer Jacques - Kiwi Can Coordinator

Our Kiwi Can Coordinator Jen is originally from Oxford in the UK. Jen made the decision to move to NZ, with her family, in September 2018. Jen said that her favourite thing about working at the Graeme Dingle Foundation Southland is “the privilege of being on a journey with our tamariki to help them find their place in the world.” Jen is so passionate about removing barriers and helping kids realise how important they really are. In her spare time you will find Jen getting into the bush and doing reno’s on the house.

Email Jennifer

Melissa Hillman – Office Administrator


Gabbie Guise - Kiwi Can Leader

Originally from a farm in Western Southland, Gabbie was inspired to become a Kiwi Can leader because she loved the idea of being able to work and have fun with kids for a job. With a background as a youth leader and working with kid’s programmes she is the perfect candidate! She hopes to leave the kids she works with the knowledge that they can find hope and still have fun and enjoy the things that they do even when life is hard. Outside of work Gabbie enjoys playing netball, reading, dancing, getting outdoors, baking and spending time with her family and her cat. By keeping active and loving life she finds this positively influences her work in Kiwi Can.

Email Gabbie

Emily Stupples - Kiwi Can Leader

Annalys Kennedy - Kiwi Can Leader

Shanae Stenton - Kiwi Can Leader

Shanae hails from Central Otago and is currently one of our Kiwi Can leaders in Invercargill. Shanae joined the team after earning a Mental Health & Addiction certificate from SIT in 2022 which inspired her passion for mental wellness and working with kids. Her study has given her a better grasp of human development and the stages at which children's brains grow. This understanding enables her to design lesson plans that are hugely beneficial to the children who she works with. Being a mother of three, as well as the principles taught in Kiwi, can resonate on a personal level for Shanae, making it easier for her to deliver a programme in which she completely believes. She aspires to make a good influence on the children she works with by helping them understand their own well-being, boosting their self-worth and confidence, and teaching them what positive relationships look like and how important boundaries are. She also wants to share her ideals of self-respect and boundaries with others. Shanae loves art and feels it is an excellent way to express yourself, especially if you don't have the words. She has been a professional photographer since she was 19 years old (a job that has spanned four generations in her family!) She also enjoys going on bush walks and being in nature, believing that it is a natural way to improve mental and emotional well-being.

Email Shanae
Carla Forbes
Dean Addie
Portrait of Jacyln

Carla Forbes - Trustee

Carla is a Creative director and publisher who has been a board member with us for a couple years now. When asked what inspired her to become a board member she responded 'Investing in our youth, supporting confidence, resilience and filling our youth’s wellbeing toolbox with the right material, has a ripple effect that is generational, and it supports community. I genuinely believe this organization has potential to affect the wellbeing of all of Aotearoa. I Jumped at the opportunity to be on the board.' In Carla's spare time you will find her reading, spending time with her family and boating.

Dean Addie - Trustee

Dean is a born and raised Southlander that is well travelled but always comes home. Dean has been on our board since 2011. Dean is passionate about young people and seeing them succeed which is why he wanted to join our board. During the day Dean is the General Manager of EIS Group but in his spare time you will find him spending as much time as he can with his family. When asked what his favourite thing is about what Graeme Dingle Foundation does, he replied "Helping NZ kids navigate through the many issues they will face. Rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, being the fence at the top". Fun fact, Dean was once the Southland under 14 100m record holder... until the next heat.

Jaclyn Rome - Trustee

Jaclyn is a born Southlander from Gore who is our most recent board member. During the day Jacyln works as an Accountant at Findex but in her own time you will find her with her family farming or coaching a hockey team. Jaclyn was inspired to become a board member with us as she wanted 'to be able to utilize the skills I have learnt in my professional career to help the youth in our community'. When asked what she like most about what the Graeme Dingle Foundation Southland does Jaclyn replied 'The Foundation is constantly involving and doing its very best to have a positive influence in the lives of young people.'