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Inspiring careers – Teagan Moore

E lelei le Atua, i taimi uma (God is good, All the time).

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born in Samoa (my claim to fame) and raised in West Auckland. I am the eldest of four with amazing Samoan parents from a mixed Irish, German, Tokelauan & Tuvaluan background. I went to Avondale College and did a BA at the University of Auckland in Sociology and Psychology. I love sport, food & laughing. I’m Christian. Oh and my best friend asked me to marry him over the summer so looking forward to that!

Describe your job

The Graeme Dingle Foundation is a child and youth charity founded by Sir Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson in 1995 as the Project K Trust. The Graeme Dingle Foundation is a leader in the field of child and youth development, running several successful proven programmes.

Our mission is to transform young lives forever with a vision that all young people will be confident contributors to New Zealand life. I’m part of the Programme Development Training team based at the National Support Office. Our team support quality delivery of the Foundation’s programmes by supporting our programme delivery staff across New Zealand. 

What do you do on an average day?

I help my colleagues organise and run hui’s and trainings for staff around the country. I help organise inductions for all national staff at our office in Auckland, organise resources and visit programmes on the ground to offer support and complete quality assurance. 

What do you love about your job?

I love being behind the scenes to support the awesome staff at the grassroots! I also ran my first hui last month with our National Youth Advisory Group to get their ‘youth voice’ on our programmes and current youth issues. I love my team and all the staff who are so passionate about what we do at the Graeme Dingle Foundation. I also like that I currently work three days a week while I complete my post-graduate studies.

What opportunities does your job offer?

I was brought on as an assistant to train up into the role of Programme developer/trainer. I have been learning about policies and procedures, programme development, training, the Ara Taiohi Code of Ethics and the like. It’s been good to meet staff from around the country, and visit our team in the Waikato as well.

What skills, training/education or past experiences helped you secure your job?

I’m blessed to have gained extensive youth work experience since 2006 – including mentoring, work with special needs youth, and two and a half years at the governments Division for Youth in Samoa. More recently, I worked with at-risk youth for Henderson Police. My experience on the ground and passion for youth helped me as well as my keenness to learn. My postgraduate study coupled with my experience in Samoa also helped me secure this job.

Why did you want to work in the mental health and addiction sector?

I became interested in this sector through personal circumstances and seeing the struggles some of my friends and family went through. My recent work of two years with at-risk youth for Police also made me wonder what preventative measures and effective interventions there are for youth struggling with mental health and addiction issues. I was especially passionate about our Pacific Island and Māori communities. I want to complete my Masters of Health Science in preventing violence and trauma recovery and work in the mental health and addiction sector.

How does your role impact or help Pacific people with mental health and/or addiction and their families?

Graeme Dingle Foundation programmes start with Kiwi Can from ages 5 to 12, Project K at Year 10, Stars with Years 9, 11 & 12, Career Navigator for seniors at college, and MYND in Auckland for youth who have offended. Many of the schools that have our programmes are made up of Pacific students. Throughout school life, our programmes build the capacity of young people. Our team ensures our programmes are of the utmost quality and relevance with dedicated staff and great students at the forefront. I like to think we are at the preventative end of the mental health and addiction sector with some innovative intervention for students with low self-efficacy (Project K) and youth who have offended (MYND). Our core programme themes of resilience, respect, integrity and positive relationships tie in well with Pacific values. 

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to work in the mental health and addiction sector?

Make sure you have a great support network around you. Ask yourself why you want to work in this sector and hold on to that. Be prepared to work hard and enjoy the rewarding mahi. Be kind to yourself and rest well. 

About the author •
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Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.