Image: Tamara Elliot at Excellence Awards
Source: Papakura Courier
It is the youth of Papakura who inspire Tamara Elliot and have helped her win recognition with a national award this month. She was recognised at the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s 22nd Annual Excellence Awards as an Outstanding Programme Coordinator.
The event, hosted by the Graeme Dingle Foundation, is known for celebrating the next generation of successful young Kiwis – for all they’ve achieved and overcome, their personal growth and their futures. The wards also pay tribute to committed foundation volunteers and employees who have given so much of their lives to Aotearoa’s young people.
An inspiring and warm individual, who is adored by her many colleagues and community, Elliot shared with the audience her passion for rangatahi.
“This role has been a learning and developing journey which reinforces the importance of why we are so passionate and love the work we do. “A key element are the relationships we have being able to build and embrace, which has imprinted into my spirit and my heart -1 stand with honour, the confidence of shinning humility because of our founders from this phenomenal organisation.
“Your belief, your vision to support kids to overcome life obstacles has and will forever be within my soul. He aha te mea nui o te ao, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata – the most important thing in the world, it is people, it is people, it is people!”
When asked what inspires her, Elliot credited the young people she meets and works alongside.
“The privilege to empower and walk the journey with our young people, to celebrate their life changing moments, be it a caring gesture or a compliment, making eye contact while having a conversation or standing in front of the school to lead the school waiata or arriving to school on time and being able to share laughter and smile.”
Graeme Dingle Foundation chief executive officer Jenny Stiles says that having supported more than 300,000 tamariki and rangatahi since 1995, Graeme Dingle Foundation has a rich history of offering young people opportunities to build resilience, self-belief, and improve their mental wellbeing.
“The foundation’s vision is that ‘Aotearoa New Zealand will be the best place in the world to be young’ and this event celebrates our committed teams of staff, volunteers and the young people who have made great strides in paving a positive life trajectory. “Our programmes rely on strong co-ordination and management and the foundation is lucky to have a network of strong coordinators across the country – they are the heart of our mahi,” Stiles said.
“It’s been a really tough time for young people and their families, so this year’s awards event is more important than ever. The numbers of tamariki and rangatahi disengaging from school, feeling highly anxious and suffering other mental wellbeing challenges has increased. “But there is always a path forward and we, as a community and foundation, want young people to know that we are here to help them and, to nurture their talents and to help them succeed.”
Elliot closed her acceptance speech saying: “With hand on heart – this award is the supreme recognition of our team, our young people, our whanau and our communities – He waka eke noa, we are all in this together! Mauri Tu, Mauri Oho, Mauri Ora!”
“With hand on heart – this award is the supreme recognition of our team, our young people, our whanau and our communities – He waka eke noa, we are all in this together! Mauri Tu, Mauri Oho, Mauri Ora!” Tamara Elliot