Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato envisions all rangatahi in the Waikato being healthy, resilient and positively contributing to their whānau and communities.
Our mission is to transform and empower the lives of rangitahi in the Waikato.
Kia puāwai he rangatira – To blossom into leaders.
Manaaki – Caring
We care about our whānau
Māia – Courageous
We are strong, confident, and determined.
Tūhono – Collaborative
We form meaningful and loyal relationships
Taikāhā – Resilient
We are resilient, bounce back and never give up
Pono – Trust
We exhibit trust, honesty, and transparency.
Our People – Governance
Phillip Cowie – Chair, Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato Charitable Trust
The Chair of the Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato, Phillip Cowie, is proud to support the organisation’s programmes that are empowering the region’s tamariki and rangatahi.
Phil has had a long career in education as a teacher and principal holding primary school principal positions in Hawkes Bay, Pirongia, Te Kuiti and Hamilton. He was the foundation principal of Rototuna Primary School.
Over the last 12 years he has been an education evaluator for the Education Review Office where he is currently regional director for the central region, an area from the Bombay Hills to Levin coast to coast encompassing 880 schools and approximately 1700 early learning centres.
Phil is married to Julie and the couple have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Contact Phillip to learn how you can support the kaupapa of Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato.
Meet our Trustees
Tawa is Pouhoe Māori (Executive Manager) within ASB’s Māori Banking team, Te Waka Whaihua. His iwi affiliations are Te Whakatōhea, Tūhoe, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Waikato.
Tawa holds governance roles within his iwi Te Whakatōhea and is passionate about accelerating Māori success.
A commercial manager with ASB Bank, John is an experienced trustee and director, having supported SODA, the Springboard Trust, and Life Community Services. He is a fellow of FINSIA (Financial Services Institute of Australasia), and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.
Originally from North Canterbury/Waitaha raro, John began his banking career in Palmerston North/Te Papaioeo in 1980. Through his career he has gained experience in all aspects of banking including retail and rural business and has been in the Waikato since the early 1990s.
John brings commercial and life experience together with extensive networks to the Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato.
Catherine leads a human resources (HR) consulting business, Stapleton Consulting, where she has seen the benefit and value great role models can have on rangatahi later in their lives. It’s the reason she jumped at the chance to be part of the Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato.
Sport is important to Catherine. She is a rower and has competed in the National Champs in Twizel. She has a governance role with the Waikato Rowing Association and a support role with the New Zealand Netball Players Association.
Catherine has two children with her teacher husband.
Marama is the Community Development Planner in Strategy and Engagement for South Waikato District Council.
Marama, a Tokoroa local, was born and educated in the Waikato, including at Waikato University.
She has seven children, is a huge supporter of the Graeme Dingle Foundation and loves the fantastic work it does.
Born and raised in the Waikato, Sarskia now lives in Tāmaki Makaurau where she leads a branding studio focussed on helping do-good, purpose-driven businesses put their best foot forward.
She’s passionate about empowering young people to be their most creative and capable selves, and believes in the power of sport and outdoor adventure in the lives of rangitahi to build confidence, leadership, community and purpose.
Our People – Management
Amanda Shaw – General Manager
Amanda Shaw has been with the Foundation since 2020 and has supported delivery across all programmes and is now proud of the opportunity to build on this experience and lead the foundation into the next chapter as the General Manager.
Amanda brings experience from her corporate and high performance sport background. A born local on the outskirts of kirikiriroa with a passion for supporting youth through the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s programs.
Contact Amanda to learn how you can support the kaupapa of Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato.
Meet our Management Team
Tash Allen – Programmes Manager
Tash knows how to wear a few different hats! As a busy mum of two Tash is also our epic Programmes Manager day to day.
Paige Coffin-Bell – Marketing Coordinator
Paige, from Te Kuiti, relocated to Tokoroa in 2020 to start a family.
Before becoming apart of the GDFW whānau she has been involved with the Waitomo District Council for many years, a rangatahi mentor for Te Ahurei ā Rangatahi and received scholarships from Waikato University and The Lines Company LTD based on her contribution and involvement with rangatahi in my community.
Seeing the fruits of the work that has been done before her gives Paige hope that she can make a difference.
Her son was a major motivation for her jumping at the opportunity to join the Graeme Dingle Foundation. Not only is she learning the fundamental skills to set children up to prosper in life but it fills her heart with gratitude for a job which can also be applied to her own child.
In her spare time Paige enjoys playing netball, spending time with whānau and friends and being anywhere close to water.
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
Courtney Hope – Business Coordinator
Courtney holds every down in the office for us from events, accounts, admin support and payroll! She is a super mum to two beautiful girls and is a born and raised local to kirikiriroa. While not at mahi you will find Courtney spending time with her whānau, walking or at the gym!
Meet out Stars Co-ordinators
Marlon George – Stars Coordinator and Kiwi Can Leader
Marlon is from the great town of Kirikiriroa, where he has lived for the majority of his life and has now started his young family.
Marlon has always had a passion for working with tamariki and is dedicated to inspiring Aotearoa’s children to reach their full potential. He aspires to encourage tamariki to aim high and do their best, ensuring they have a positive outlook in life.
He loves spending time with his friends and family, often finding themselves at the beach, typically Papamoa Beach, a family favorite spot. He also has a passion for indoor netball and basketball, and has always been sports driven. He cannot wait to get his own children involved in sports and encourage them to have the same drive and motivation he has. The experiences Marlon has had with the Graeme Dingle Foundation excites and motivates him. He loves the connections made with tamariki and enjoys watching them flourish into incredible NZ kids. Being part of such a great success, Marlon has hopes to teach his own children in Kiwi Can someday.
Pheylan Rangitoheriri – Stars Coordinator, Stars Teina Facilitator & Kiwi Can Leader
Pheylan has played and coached with the Tokoroa Pacific Shark Rugby League Club since he was seven-years-old.
He has a strong sense of whanau and community that makes him an outstanding young rangatira. He joined Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato – his dream job – to make an impact. He brings fun, positivity and excitement to his work.
A proud dad of two, Pheylan delivers the Tokoroa College Stars programmes and is also a Kiwi Can and Stars Teina leader, a journey that began in Stars in Year 9 before he moved on to be a mentor. He was recognised for this dedication at the Graeme Dingle Foundation Excellence Awards in 2022.
Santana Katene – Stars Teina Coordinator & Kiwi Can Leader
Ko Tarawera te maunga
Ko Te Arawa te waka
Ko Puarenga te awa
Ko Tuhourangi te Iwi
Ko Ngati Wahiao te Hapū
Ko Te Pakira te Marae
Nō reira, tēnā tatou katoa
Santana, originally from Whakarewarewa, lives on a dairy farm at Mangakino with her partner and two tamariki. After completing her teaching qualification she launched a clothing enterprise before joining Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato. Santana believes the voices of the rangatahi of Aotearoa are important because they are our future leaders.
A whakatauki that reflects her teaching philosophy is Na to rourou, na taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi – With your basket of knowledge and my basket, together we will thrive.
Santana brings mana, tikanga Māori, her teaching professionalism and endless enthusiasm to her mahi – supporting programme delivery across three different Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato programmes.
Contact Santana to learn more about opportunities for schools to benefit from our kaupapa.
Meet our Kiwi Can Leaders
Terry Faleva’ai – Kiwi Can Coordinator & Kiwi Can Leader
Terry, born and raised in West Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau, is a field events specialist, particularly shot put, for which he travelled and competed internationally, including representing Aotearoa New Zealand at two Paralympic Games.
He has a Diploma in Sport Recreation and Management and is a huge Auckland Blues fan.
With over 24 years experience of working and mentoring youth he says he is basically “a big kid at heart.”
He has achieved a dream by becoming a Kiwi Can leader.
Haylee Ireland – Kiwi Can Leader
Haylee, from Taupo, found her passion and calling to work with youth through Kiwi Can.
Not only has Kiwi Can helped her shape a better path for the future of tamariki but it has also helped build her self confidence.
Noriko Tausinga – Kiwi Can Leader
Noriko was brought up in a small town in a rice farming area in the south of Japan and has lived in Aotearoa NZ since the 1990s. The mum of two married into a large Tongan family in South Auckland and also has Samoan family links to West Auckland and a Maori whanau from Umutahi marae, Matata.
Noriko has had more than 15 years in customer service roles at Air NZ and Trelise Cooper and is experienced in learning assistance and teacher aid.
She loves being someone children trust knowing that it can take only one person, one conversation or one kind gesture to help them believe in themselves.
Daley O’Rourke Nicholls – Stars Teina Facilitator & Kiwi Can Leader
I’m a Stars Teina Facilitator and I was born and raised in Putāruru, love being active and playing any kind of sport but mostly rugby and league! but also love to read and be surrounded by my whānau and culture! Have grown up volunteering a lot in my community especially working with younger kids so am grateful to continue to grow doing the same kind of mahi with Graeme Dingle! What I love most about my mahi is the relationships you get to create with youth and the way they fill your cup!
Ben McIntosh – Kiwi Can Leader
Kia ora, I’m Ben!
I’m from a small town called Ngatea and there I grew up on a Feijoa Orchard! I am currently a student at the University of Waikato as I learn more about my passion for coaching and how to engage youth into sports! I am fortunate enough to be a Kiwi Can Leader at the Graeme Dingle Foundation and my favourite part about mahi is helping Tamariki build confidence within themselves so they can take on any challenge that might come their way!