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