VOYCE vision

Get To Know Us

Who Are We?

We are Voyce - Whakarongo Mai, and we stand for Voice of the Young and Care Experienced - Listen to me. We believe children and young people in care need to be heard and their voices kept at the centre of all the decisions made about them.

Our name embodies our intent, which is to provide an independent voice from children and young people to the care system, rather than an adult voice for them. The multi-coloured sound waves in our brand visually represent the individual and collective voices of children in care, with the semi-circle shape symbolising connection and community.

How will we amplify your voice and stand up for you?

Voyce - Whakarongo Mai will be starting small and planning big, so with your help and support, by the end of the year we will be a megaphone to the government and the care system about the things that matter most to you.

  • Establish a youth council of care experienced young people, to provide advice and promote the voice of care experience on the big issues affecting you
  • Develop a care-experienced community of support, to build an even stronger voice to the system
  • Arrange connection events for you to meet, have fun and share ideas with other children and young people
  • Connect children and young people in care with advocates and trusted adults to help you have your say
  • Support you to share your stories in your words, when key decisions are made which affect you
  • Work alongside other groups in the community, including Iwi and Māori organisations who support children and young people in care

We will continue to actively develop and talk to you about ways we can help you more.

The Team

Photo of Dr Ainsleigh Cribb-Su’a, VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai Chief Executive Officer

Dr Ainsleigh Cribb-Su’a

VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai Chief Executive Officer

Of Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tamaterā and Ngāti Kauwhata descent, Ainsleigh is the inaugural CEO of VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, having joined the team in September 2017.

Ainsleigh is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, and has worked previously in clinical leadership and operational management roles for Counties Manukau Health.

Ainsleigh also holds a number of governance positions in the youth and NGO sector, and is an Academic Fellow of The University of Canterbury and AUT University.

  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    Observing or hearing stories of young people who have overcome adversity and are owning their own journey and destiny #likeaboss
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    That sometimes my husband is right! But don’t tell him…
Photo of Semisi (James) Prescoot, VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai Board Chair

Dr Semisi (James) Prescott

VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai Board Chair

Dr Semisi Prescott is a senior lecturer in accounting and finance at the Business Practice Pathway, Unitec Institute of Technology.

Semisi is a qualified accountant and specialises in teaching financial accounting, management accounting and business finance.

As an academic, Semisi’s research area is small business sustainability with a particular focus on Pacific operated businesses.

Semisi is an active member and leader of his Tongan community, with a passion for promoting positive social change.

Photo of Tracie Shipton

Tracie Shipton

Tracie is the Director of Dingwall Trust, and has been involved in VOYCE since its inception as an idea.

She has been actively involved in lobbying for change and achieving an independent organisation for children in care for many years.

The need to have the young people’s voice influencing the care system has been a major driver for this work.

With a career history in social services, Tracie has a long relationship with foster care, and is pleased to now continue this work in a Board role.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    Resourcefulness. I have no doubt I can do it, find it and love it, and I have an innate ability to think on my feet.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    I would be a Meerkat. They’re synonymous to how am, they’re social, they live in colonies, are protective and territorial for their families. When you see them sticking their heads up and keeping watch though, it’s not just their direct family they’re guarding – it’s their whole community.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    I love babies, from zero to 18; travel, cooking and eating beautiful food.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    I learned that despite my mother thinking it was a great idea, old heads don’t fit on young shoulders - it’s a biological mismatch!
Photo of John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John is the Manager of The Tindall Foundation, and a representative of the four philanthropic partners. John has been a social work practitioner and manager for over 25 years with experience across a wide range of fields.

Before joining the Tindall Foundation, John was General Manager of Lifewise, with responsibility for a diverse portfolio of social, health, education and community activities across Auckland.

John has also been on a number of NGO Boards, having been a Board member of NetSafe, the Domestic Violence Centre (now Shine), the Auckland Night Shelter Trust, the James Liston Hostel Trust, the Friendship House Foundation, and Fair Food, and until January 2014 was Chair of Community Waitakere.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    If it's something we wish we had it would be to be able to speak to anyone in any language.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    Giraffe - I'm quite tall.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    I love to get out in NZ's wilderness. We have such beautiful and remote places in NZ, and being in those places makes me feel inspired and rejuvenated.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    Success comes from persevering and from having good people around you.
Photo of Monique Goodhew

Monique Goodhew

Monique is a care experienced young adult of Ngāti Porou and Te Rarawa descent.  Monique is passionate about seeing changes in the care system that will benefit other children and young people who are still in care.

Monique was recognised for her leadership through her nomination to the Minister’s Youth Advisory Panel in 2015.

Monique has been a member of VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai’s Establishment Steering Group since September 2016 and a member of the Board of Trustees since March 2017.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    I think that my super power is super strength. Not super strength in the sense of weightlifting but in terms of withstanding all kinds of stress both physical and mental. I think that this is my super power as I don’t let pressure affect me and therefore believe that I am a strong person inside and out.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    I think that my spirit animal is a honey badger they belong to the Mellivora capensis species. They are super strong; their teeth can crush a tortoise shell and they will fight just about anything that gets in their way. They also love sweet food, which I am a huge fan of personally and I think that if I were to be an animal I would want to be a honey badger.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    I love to paint; I love the way that I can manipulate something old and make it into something new. I like creating things that challenge the viewer’s way of thinking and believe there to be beauty in the unknown aspects in a painting.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    The most recent thing I learnt is very boring but it was about genetic modifications in terms of microorganisms and how to delete genes or make point mutations when the microorganism is uncommon.
Photo of Liz Marsden

Liz Marsden

Liz is of Te-Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngapuhi descent and, as General Manager of Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services (NISS), oversees a range of services delivered to support and benefit whānau.

Liz has a long career in education and the social services and has held a range of leadership roles in both Government and non-government.

Liz is passionate about supporting Māori tamariki in care to understand their whakapapa and sees that this is clearly linked to children in care having a strong positive identity.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    Intuition - I don't need proof or evidence. I just know!!
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    Hine-!Ruru – (owl) My kaitiaki/ guardian. She enables me to see what’s hidden in the darkness; to cut through the crap and see the truth.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    Cooking a fabulous meal for good mates and surrounding myself with their laughter.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    My five year old mokopuna is my real boss.
Photo of Abbie Reynolds

Abbie Reynolds

Abbie is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council, and strong advocate for children, young people, and the environment.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    I can make everything fun or funny.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    Red panda – they’re a bit mythical, they’re a bit ginger (like me) and they look like they are good at sussing people out. They’re kind of fun. They’re shape changers – a bit foxy, a bit racoony, a bit beary and a bit panda-like. I need to be good at adapting my style so I can work with all kinds of people.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    Friday night pizza and red wine on the sofa with my husband while watching terrible television.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    To seek forgiveness, not permission.
Photo of Zak Quor

Zak Quor

Zak is a care experienced young adult based in Auckland.

Since leaving foster care after approximately 12 years in 2010, Zak has helped in the adoption and fostering sector by speaking at conferences and events, providing ideas, information and insight into the world of youth in care in New Zealand.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    Tying my shoe laces really quick.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    A Monkey, I've always tried to avoid it but it's the Chinese animal for the year of my birth and all my life I've been as cheeky as can be.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    Seeing other people's lives genuinely better because of something I've done.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    That you can cancel out like terms in a fraction between the Numerator and the Denominator inside the brackets, the coefficient remains untouched, and the terms inside the brackets becomes 1.
Photo of Steve Ferguson

Steve Ferguson

  • What’s your secret super power?
    I have a knack of being the glue between groups or teams of people.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    Tiger - spirited and energetic, and a risk taker.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    Long walks on the beach after a busy week.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    That if I focus I can find peace and stillness to rejuvenate myself in a busy environment.
Photo of Shayne Walker

Shayne Walker

Shayne is of Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Scottish and French descent.

He and his wife Helen have extensive involvement in youthwork, fostercare (192 children over 12 years) and whānau work, with predominantly Māori and Pasifika young people.

“As a former “state ward” (child in care) and foster parent. I consider myself to be care informed. I have worked with many young men on a number of issues, including violence, substance abuse and relationship making. Much of what I have learned has come from their struggles and growth.”

Shayne has been teaching at the University of Otago for the past twenty years, presently as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work. He is currently the Chair of the Social Workers Registration Board and a member of the Ako: Enhancing the readiness to practice of newly qualified social workers project. He is proud of his roles as a husband, father, brother, grandfather and a member of whānau.

  • What’s your secret super power?
    My secret super power is “aroha”, it sustains all that I do and reminds me when it is not present.
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    My spirit animal is a dog: they like to be where the action is, they live as a pack and work as part of team surrounded by people, they protect each other, they are intuitive and often choose to love without question.
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    I enjoy singing my moko to sleep. She touches the depth of my being and provides grounding and clarity often at the times I most need it.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    The "learning is in the relationship”, I re learn this every day!
Photo of Mana Williams-Eade

Mana Williams-Eade

  • What’s your secret super power?
    A ninja! I was the youngest second-degree black belt in International Taekwon-Do in the South Island at 14. Can also be in two classes at one time without anyone noticing me jumping through the window! :D
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
    I'm a lion because I take plenty of pride in everything I do and have a lot of time for people!
  • What is one of your favourite things to do that brings you joy?
    My sister recently moved in with my parents who were my whangai/adoptive parents, spending time with my sister and my family brings me huge joy. I also turn into batman when I jump on a bike, but ultimately it's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
  • What’s the most recent thing you learned?
    Accounting is really boring...

We’d like to give a special thanks to all the children and young people whose honesty, generosity and courage in sharing their experiences helped create the foundation for Voyce - Whakarongo Mai to be established.

In particular, we’d like to thank:

  • The children and young people from the 2013 Auckland Voices of Children in Care hui
  • The 2015 Minister’s Youth Advisory Panel
  • Te Whānau Aroha
  • The young people in care from Dunedin, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Auckland, Ngapuhi and Te Maioha Parekarangi Residence
  • The children and young people from the Dingwall Trust
  • The children and young people from Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services
  • The co-design group who worked with Curative
  • Children and young people involved in the Dingwall Trust Launch Programme

Without your voices we wouldn’t be here today! Nga mihi nui.

Get involved with Voyce - Whakarongo Mai! If you have any ideas, feedback or questions contact us now.