The Youth Mentoring Network

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A message from NZYMN Chair, Ann Dunphy - Leadership change and new trustee appointments

August’s most successful INVOLVE conference in Wellington, was another example of outstanding leadership and organisation from NZYMN General Manager Nicki McDonald. NZYMN had not been part of earlier INVOLVE conferences, which concluded in 2010, so we welcomed the invitation to work with Ara Taiohi and the two Youth Health organisations – SYHPANZ and The Collaborative, in reviving this earlier collaboration and ensuring that it included really strong mentoring presentations.

You will also be well aware of Nicki’s key role in developing the second edition of our outstanding new Guide to Safe and Effective Practice in Youth Mentoring, then subsequently organising the highly-successful series of regional workshops throughout the country – that resume later this year, with a focus on the key field of Mentoring Relationships.

So it is with a profound sense of appreciation for exemplary service, that we now advise that Nicki will leave NZYMN at the end of this year, but we are really pleased that a seamless transition means that there will be no loss of quality service with her successor.

NZYMN is governed by a board of volunteers, where long-serving trustee Joy Eaton is deputy-chair. Joy, a former high school principal, who until recently was deputy-director of the University of Auckland’s Starpath project, is now available to take leave from her board position, so will become NZYMN General Manager in December.

Further good news is that two new members have now joined the NZYMN board, ensuring that the voice of youth now becomes part of all future planning. Samoan Carmel-Maria Savaiianea is a proud former student of Tangaroa College, who studied at MIT and now works at STAND children’s services, while Rewa Worley (Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou) is a participant in Teach First NZ: Ako Matatupu and is currently teaching Maori and Science at St Paul’s College, Ponsonby. Rewa is also well recognised as a Spoken Word poet and is a member of South Auckland Poet’s Collective and a co-founder of Waxed Poetic Revival.

Both of these young leaders built their skills in the “Southside Rise” movement, which provided such a powerful conclusion to last month’s INVOLVE national youth conference - where the excellence of the mentoring stream was most sincerely appreciated.


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