Check out these "90 second" potraits of great changemakers we connected with during our time in this region. We'll be adding to these in the months ahead so watch this space.
Bruce Maden - Te Aroha Noa Community Services
Bruce completed his Masters of Applied Social Work in 1976. His specialised interest was in community development, an interest that has provided a pivotal focus throughout his career. For the past 20 years he has provided leadership to Te Aroha Noa Community Services, an integrated multi-disciplinary community development agency situated in the lower socio-economic part Palmerston North.
Bruce is a visionary leader and innovative thinker who deeply believes that communities must be involved in the development of services influencing their lives and in the discovery of solutions to the issues that are affecting them.
You can learn more about Te Aroha Noa by visiting thier website: www.tearohanoa.org.nz
The North Island leg of the 2011 ReGeneration Roadtrip got off to an inspirational start with a three day visit to Te Aroha Noa community centre in Palmerston North. A total highlight of the visit was the time we spent with the parent-educators from Te Aroha Noa's early childhood centre at a communtiy cafe session we ran on Tuesday. It was so exciting to see the journals that get created for each child at the centre that document their learning and development with photo's, stories and artworks. Many of local mums are now trained parent educators and some have gone on to become professional social workers.
On Wednesday we had a great meeting with the Social Policy and Social Work department at Massey University. Our team really enjoyed the conversation and sharing notes about the research that is being done around positive social change in New Zealand. We also visited Horowhenua College for an assembly talk and meeting with some of the student leaders.
Friday we were back at school this at Wanganui High. This is a large school of 1,800 young people and they have a waiting list for most of thier senior classes. We spent most of Friday with their Year 11 and 12 students running workshops on Communication Skills, Global Poverty and Leadership. It was a really fun day andas always really exciting to meet so many awesome young people.
On Saturday we headed inland up the mighty Whanganui River Road. We had lunch in the sun at the Sister of Compassion convent at Hiruharama / Jerusalem before finishing up in Raetihi. We spent a very wet Sunday journeying further up the river with the good people at Whanganui River Adventures who took us to see the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. It was amazing to see where people had tried to farm and make a living for themselves in what is now a beautiful national park.
A big week coming up in Taranaki. Bring it on!