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.
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.
We will continue to actively develop and talk to you about ways we can help you more.
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. Prior to that he was the Regional Manager of Richmond NZ, and spent six years as Director of the SAFE Programme — an organisation providing treatment to sexual abusers of children, which he helped set up. 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.
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.
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.
My wife Helen and I were initially involved in youthwork, fostercare (192 children over 12 years) and whanau work with predominantly Māori and Pasifica young people. I have worked with many young men on a number of issues, including violence, substance abuse and relationship making. I acknowledge that much of what I have learned has come from their struggles and growth. They continue to inspire me as they come into their own fullness. As a former “state ward” (child in care) and foster parent I consider myself to be care informed.
I have 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. I am 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. I have a strong commitment to the professional development of social workers and protecting the public. I am a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) and part of the Journal Editorial Collective, co-editing Te Komako. I teach on the Erasmus Mundus European Master, Social Work with Children and Families (MFAMILY) with colleagues from the University of Western Australia and the University of Stavanger (Norway). I am also a member of the Ministry of Justice & Ministry of Development Expert Design Group for Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whanau Workforce Capability Framework.
More important than any of this I am a husband, father, brother, grandfather and a member of whanau. My research interests include Māori/Indigenous approaches to social work theory and practice, particularly community based child protection, resiliency/resistance and indigenous pedagogy. Recent Publications include:
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:
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.