News


Dingwall Director departs after 18 years at the helm

The departure of Tracie Shipton after 18 years as Dingwall Director was marked by a moving farewell ceremony, that included song and performance by children at the end of August. Each and every staff member and child who took part in organising, performing, or speaking at the farewell must be congratulated for pulling together an event that was professional but also hugely meaningful and dignified – a very fitting send off for a much-loved leader. Guests included Tracie’s family, board members, MPs, former residents and members of the Dingwall Association, former staff members, MPs and Oranga Tamariki executives. At the outset, Tracie was gifted ...

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ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPIONS

French Cottage has heeded environmental warnings and is spear-heading Dingwall’s efforts to do better by outlawing plastic bags – especially for school lunches. More than 160,000 plastic bags are used every SECOND around the world, so it is time to take action. With the help of nutritionist Danijela Unkovich, French is reducing the use of plastic packaging by turning to bulk storage and eliminating pre-packaged products in the pantry. The cottage has also purchased high-quality bento-style food boxes that keep school lunches fresh and tasty while eliminating the use of 35 snaplock bags every day!French caregivers Lomenia and Evanjica are challe...

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SAD NEWS

Sadly, Dingwall lost a long-time supporter recently when secretary of the Dingwall Board of Trustees Kevin Rainey passed away after a short illness. Kevin’s Dingwall involvement began in 1992. He was not only the secretary but also responsible for the financial management and reporting of the trust through his family firm at Sotherton’s accounting. Director Tracie Shipton says “Kevin leaves behind a close knit family. Kevin will be sorely missed by many he was a kind and principled gentleman with a strong connection to our Dingwall Kaupapa.”

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FARWELL TO MEL

The end of May saw a bitter-sweet farewell for Mel Morunga as she departed after 21 years of working at Dingwall. Children, carers and staff outdid themselves organising the evening with outstanding performance and superb kai ─ their efforts conveyed the respect and appreciation felt for the much-loved team leader. A beautiful hangi was prepared and put down thanks to the efforts of many staff members, while others helped the children to put together a string of stunning performances that brought many to tears. The attendance of several former Dingwall residents was testament to the tremendous legacy Mel leaves behind.

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LOVE POTION

Children and carers from Thode, Fraser and Buttle were treated to a night at the New Zealand Opera in May to see The Elixir of Love, by Donizetti. Starring Pene Pati of SolE Mio fame, it was an amusing country tale of a bumbling hero using a “love potion” to help secure the affections of his true love. Of course the whole thing back fired in an unexpected way, but a happy ending was finally achieved! The children were particularly taken with the clever but quirky set, including farmyard animals. The subtitles for the Italian opera were also very irreverent and provided many laughs. Photo credit: Simon Watts

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BLACK OUT!

Community spirit was strong at Dingwall last month when cottages were plunged into darkness during the big storm that downed trees and cut power to more than 100,000 homes around the city. No power meant cold showers and no lights, but the cottages pulled together to help each other out, sharing dinners and Queenie and Alice offering Bissett Cottage to others for some home comforts. And when dawn broke, revealing storm damage at Dingwall, the Launch team pitched in to help clean up the mess. Director Tracie Shipton says the power outage highlights the need to keep emergencies supplies - especially torches with working batteries - up to date and in a ...

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HACKATHON SUCCESS

Dingwall director Tracie Shipton is delighted with the outcome of a Vodafone Foundation Hackathon that delivered a Responsive Leadership training programme, tailored for all Dingwall staff. The Foundation has committed $20 million to halving the number of disadvantaged young people in New Zealand over the next 10 years and the hackathon was a step in the right direction. Fifteen Vodafone staffers committed their brainpower and over 300 hours’ work to solve problems for Voyce and Campus Connections also. Tracie was paired with training specialist Lane Hannah to come up with the one-day programme Vodafone will help run at Dingwall several times a ...

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DINGWALL GARDEN TO TABLE GOES NATIONAL

Dingwall’s Garden to Table project got to showcase some of its good work at last week’s New Zealand Flower and Garden show and won a Merit award!  Returning to Auckland after a decade away, the flower show featured gardens by several schools participating in Garden to Table projects. Danijela and Victoria had received a $2000 grant to create a Dingwall show garden with a Kaitiaki or guardianship theme, also highlighting the koru -- a symbol for new life and growth. Children from Bissett and Buttle helped in the garden creation with handprints and flax flowers and Peter also added artwork to the site.  The garden was viewed by thousands of people ...

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BALLET TREAT

Dingwall children and caregivers were treated to an afternoon at the ballet in early September, thanks to the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Vodafone Foundation. They saw the world premiere of Romeo and Juliet, a ballet created entirely in New Zealand, including choreography, set design and costumes. The afternoon began at Lifewise Merge Café, a not-for-profit café that works to end homelessness. Guests enjoyed a delicious feast and got to meet Auckland actor Mike Edward (Shortland Street, Filthy Rich). RNZB corporate development manager Diane Field spoke to the group about what they were about to see and the years of training and daily hours of ...

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VOYCE OF THE CHILDREN

  Dingwall played an integral role in the launch of VOYCE, an organisation set up to advocate for children in care and care-experienced children. www.voyce.org.nz The launch was held at The Grounds in Henderson, a child and young person- focused venue, in fact the whole event was centred on children and young people. Dingwall children provided all the entertainment and performed a waiata and four other items. Director Tracie Shipton said: “They were incredible and it made the whole event a stirring reminder of the enormous talent we have in our midst. As always the commitment of staff made this possible!”               ...

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