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    • Covid-19.
      • Just a heads up that COVID-19 is doing the rounds of the Judo community at present. Several members of the Academy have caught it over the last fortnight and several... The post COVID-19. appeared first on Wellington Judo.
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      • Animates, Hutt Road walkway, Highland Park, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, 6035, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • Benjamin Makisi
      • One of the best ever tenors produced in New Zealand, has graced theatres around the world and was in a position where he had to move to London as that was where the demand for work was. A multi award winning performer, Makisi had returned to New Zealand with his wife, Maina, due to the Pandemic. […]
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    • Vera Ellen
      • Aotearoa Music Award winning and Taite Award nominated artist Vera Ellen was born and raised in Naenae in Te Whanganui-A-Tara/Wellington. Vera relocated to Los Angeles, where she started the band Girl Friday, whose music debuted on indie giant Sub Pop’s sub-label, Hardly Art. In early 2020, Vera moved back to Aotearoa during the pandemic, leading […]
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    • Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM
      • Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau joins DCM's Outreach team, checking in with people who are rough sleeping in the city communities where whānau are housed, connected, valued and thriving About Us Contact Reaching out with the Mayor GUEST WRITER: LEE-ANNE DUNCAN DCM’s Toro Atu (Outreach) Team were delighted when Wellington Mayor, Tory Whanau, accompanied them as they checked on people sleeping rough on the city’s streets. She declared herself “an advocate” to see their heart, passion – and impact. “Kia ora, gidday, would you like to say hello to the Mayor?” says Rowan McCardle, introducing a man sitting in Te Aro Park to the Wellington Mayor, Tory Whanau. The man – who Rowan knows well from his visits to DCM – is keen to chat, almost flirtatious, from his spot in the bright afternoon sun. After a quick chat, Tory, Rowan, and her co-worker Clifton Raukawa, head down to Courtenay Place responding to a notification just through from the Wellington City Council. A woman has been rough sleeping outside a business on Courtenay Place, and while it’s sunny, it’s June, so it’s chilly. “She has only a thin blanket, and the person who notified the council about her is concerned,” says Clifton to Mayor Tory, reading off the email on his mobile phone. “We know this woman. She’s been away but must be back in town, so we will need to see how we can support her.” The WCC email notification is great timing as this is exactly what Rowan and Clifton, workers from DCM’s Toru Atu, or Outreach Team, want to show the mayor – how DCM responds when a member of the public calls the council to report concerns about someone sleeping rough. It’s a service the council helps fund. It’s also not great timing – the woman’s blankets are spread out in the lee of a post box, but she is nowhere to be seen. “It’s okay, I’ll circle back in a few hours. She won’t have gone far,” says Clifton. He’s troubled though. As the woman has been out of town for some time, she’s no longer eligible for emergency housing here and must start the process again. Clifton’s already thinking about how he can support her, ensuring she’s connected in with DCM’s Aro Mai Housing First team. Tory and Mere – Photo by Damon Keen. Rowan, Clifton and the Mayor (and, yes, a couple of photographers and journalists) continue down Courtenay Place. Within a few steps, Rowan spots another familiar face. “Nanny! I haven’t seen you in ages! Kia ora!” It’s Mere, whose face is also familiar to Wellingtonians who spend time at this end of town. However, for some weeks her usual spot outside the St. James Theatre has been vacant as she’s been settled into a rest home. Rowan introduces the Mayor, and Tory and Mere sit down on a bench to discover their whanaunga – who they know in common. It doesn’t take long to find connections, to the evident delight of both. “DCM worked with Mere for a long time to get her into the rest home,” says Clifton. “We had to build a lot of trust with her, but she agreed to go and it’s clearly agreeing with her. She’s looking really good.” Nonetheless, here she is back on Courtenay Place? “Yeah, but that’s her social connection. Coming here to chat to people, to connect with her friends, that’s what she knows. But now we know she’s well housed and cared for, so that’s okay,” says Clifton. Some of the people street begging are housed, but having a house costs money. Benefit payments don’t go far, and often street beggars aren’t physically or mentally able to work. Being on the street supplements their income, but, also, like Mere, gives them the chance to meet up with their mates. Clifton has his own experience of homelessness. Living and working in Auckland, he was visiting Wellington when the COVID-19 lockdowns began. Suddenly, he was homeless and jobless. Luckily, he found a flyer for DCM, which found him housing, then offered him a job as a peer support worker, as DCM values lived experience. Clifton is now studying to bring theory into his practice. Like Rowan, he loves his Outreach work, as tricky as it is at first to bowl up to people who – quite honestly – might tell you to bugger off in no uncertain terms… Clifton - Photo by Juan Zarama Perini. A little further down Courtenay Place, the trio have a quick chat with Mark. With everyone they meet it’s a quick, “Kia ora, how are you, how’s it going?” Much of their work is making repeated connections, building trust, finding the right supports at the right time, even after someone is housed, like Mark. He was rough sleeping but now is permanently housed and being supported by DCM’s Noho Pai (Sustaining Tenancies) Team, as keeping house is tough when you’ve not had to do housework, be a good neighbour, or pay bills for quite some time. The Outreach Team were lucky with the weather the day they took Mayor Tory for an up-close look at their mahi. On the streets of the capital city, the days are not always so clement. Wellingtonians are generally compassionate people, they want to help, and the way many action that support is by handing over food, money, blankets, clothes. “But that’s short-term assistance, which actually makes their situation more long-term,” says DCM Director, Stephen Turnock. “It teaches people they can get money and food by street begging or rough sleeping. At DCM, we are about providing long-term change. So we say, if you want to buy kai or provide support to people on the street, then look at donating to DCM. You’re still helping by ensuring people who are trained to engage will work with that person long term to get more sustained outcomes than just that brief moment where you give someone some lunch.” DCM’s Outreach Team approach street beggars and rough sleepers with nothing more than a warm smile – and often, like Clifton, their own lived experience of homelessness. Every week day they’re out on Wellington’s streets, in all weather, stopping and chatting to people they already know by name, and, importantly, scanning for people they don’t know. If so, they will approach them, encourage them to come to DCM to access the many support services available at Lukes Lane, and get connected with social agencies, all in the one place. Social Issues reporter Hanna McCallum (left) wrote this great article about Outreach in The Post – Photo by Damon Keen. The other thing Wellingtonians can do, especially as winter grips tighter, is call the Wellington City Council on 04 499 4444 if they spot someone sleeping rough on the street, in the bush or in a car. After that call, a ‘ticket’ is created and emailed to the Outreach Team. The team receive at least two a day, but sometimes 10, usually numbering between 90 and 120 notifications a quarter. Sometimes notifications are for the same person, showing people are really concerned. After receiving the notification, the team races off to try to connect with the person, wherever they are across the Wellington region, whether out on the streets or tucked in the bush. “The team’s tagline is ‘Whatever it takes’,” Stephen says. “If they’re told to go away, they’ll respectfully keep checking back in, and usually the person will come into DCM. When they do, that’s a great win for the team. “For people experiencing homelessness, the value our team brings is showing them that someone in the community cares. For the wider city, our team is about recognising that the people we see rough sleeping are people. Yes, they might have some issues, and they come with a history, but they’re so much more than that. Our team brings that insight and knowledge to the wider public.” Walking out with the team has also brought insight to Tory Whanau. The Outreach Team has been walking the streets since 2016, with Wellington City Council providing funding for the team since 2019. Mayor Tory is more than reassured it’s money well spent, and she – like DCM – is perplexed no other council in Aotearoa New Zealand does anything similar. Her walk-out with the team has spurred her to urge other Mayors to follow suit. “Until you come out here and see what the team does, you don’t really see the value. I can see that clearly. Until all the systems are fixed – mental health, welfare, housing, which are all long-term issues – homelessness won’t go away. As a society, we need to have more compassion and see the human side of homelessness. If more of us know the people sleeping rough on our streets, we would be more compassionate and understanding. This city is also where they live.” Tory and Rowan – Photo by Damon Keen. Stephen is equally warm about the council’s support. “Everyone there is truly invested in the social wellbeing of our people. There’s a continued and genuine passion that’s shared about these vulnerable communities. That, I would say, is the primary reason the Outreach mahi exists and is so well supported here in Wellington.” The final stop on Mayor Tory’s tour is for Rowan to check in on a young woman in her early 20s, ‘living’ behind a piece of cardboard down an alleyway an arm’s length from Wellington’s home of high culture, the Michael Fowler Centre. Her behaviour – caused by a history of trauma, mental illness and drug addiction – has seen her evicted from emergency housing, which means she’s no longer eligible for it. So, if she’s not on the psychiatric ward, she must live on the street or with her abusive boyfriend. Usually, she prefers the street. Rowan walks up to the cardboard, calling the young woman’s name. After a few words, Rowan’s back. She wasn’t up for talking today, but Rowan knows they’ll likely see her tomorrow at DCM, at Te Hāpai, where people can come for a cuppa, a chat, and have any health, addiction, housing, benefit and money issues dealt with, and maybe collect some kai from the Foodbank. “She’s engaged with us and we have a rapport with her. If we don’t see her, someone from our team will look for her. We’ve got her working with Aro Mai Housing First, so hopefully we can find her a permanent home soon.” And from there, the Sustaining Tenancies team will step in, guiding this traumatised young woman to keep her home. Photo by Juan Zarama Perini. Back at DCM in Lukes Lane, Mayor Tory Whanau is vocal in her admiration of what she’s witnessed. And she’s hopeful more Wellingtonians will call the council if they see someone street begging or sleeping rough this winter, rather than handing over food, money, blankets, clothes. “It’s been great to be here and see the notification process in action, and then to see the heart Rowan and Clifton have when they approach people in response. That’s how they deserve to be treated. I was already a big supporter of DCM but being out here today has taken it to the next level. “Seeing what’s happening here, and meeting the people, hearing the stories, it brings it home to me even more. If more Wellingtonians could experience what the Outreach Team sees each day, they would have a greater understanding of homelessness, and how we must protect our most vulnerable.” Lee-Anne Duncan is a freelance writer and editor who has written many stories for DCM, such as ‘We count, we matter – and we vote’, the 2020 General Election at DCM, and ‘Right at Home’, the story of Arthur. Thank you Lee-Anne for hitting the streets with Tory and the DCM team. It’s getting cold out there As we have shown in this story, help is just a phone call away. If you spot someone sleeping rough on the street, in the bush or in a car, call Wellington City Council on 04 499 4444 and they will notify us. You can also help by telling all your friends and whānau about DCM and our important work in Wellington with those who need us most. Please forward this email on. Because together – with your help – we truly can end homelessness in our city. Support DCM Copyright © 2023 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCM PO Box 6133 Marion Sq Wellington, Wellington 6011 New Zealand Add us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM
      • 96 Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; 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} .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p a{ color:#FFFFFF; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (min-width:768px){ .templateContainer{ width:600px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnRetinaImage{ max-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightImageContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; 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} } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:30px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:26px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } This month we share DCM's new film clip, and hear the story of DCM's whaea Jenny, in her own words communities where whānau are housed, connected, valued and thriving About Us Contact Te Rahi o DCM The Breadth of DCM  Kia ora koutou We are excited to show you our new film clip – Te Rahi o DCM – as we hear from our Manahautū Stephen, other members of the DCM team, and whānau like Hapi and Smurf, who share some of their story. You’ll see our carving group in action, and other cultural activities such as our daily waiata. Amidst the activities, you’ll see DCM’s Whaea Jenny, whose role as Toa is to support the development and implementation of DCM’s Te Ao Māori strategic approach. Whaea Jenny supports, mentors, and role models the organisation’s kaupapa Māori competency programme to strengthen our cultural capacity and capability. She is a champion of our kaupapa, and a true unsung hero of DCM. We are delighted to share her story – in her own words. <!-- --> Unsung heroes of DCM Whaea Jenny My name is Jenny Langford-James, but I was born as Jeanette Whetumarama, and grew up with this name – it is the name on my driver’s licence, for example. It wasn’t until I was an adult and went to get a passport in 1986 that I found out my father hadn’t registered me under this chosen name, but rather had recorded my middle name as May. Originally, I’m from Motueka. My iwi is Ngāti Kuia – that’s on my nana’s side. My koro is from Ngāti Apa. I am the third of eight siblings: Laura, Michael, Jenny, Stuart, Patrick, Peter, Shaun, Jerry. My older sister was brought up by my grandmother, so as the second oldest I had a big role in looking after everyone. Things weren’t very good growing up. We were very poor. We couldn’t afford to have our power on most of the time – and so we lived in the dark. For many years we had no shoes. I remember being sent around the neighbourhood with a note to ask for bread. But when we didn’t have kai we walked down to the beach – about half an hour’s walk from home – and lived off the sea. Mussels and cockles, cooked on a bonfire. The last thing on my mind was education, but I did go to school. We couldn’t afford books, so we cut big white drawing paper into little booklets and used that. A lot of stuff we were taught at school I learned through memory. Front left in this photo is our very own Whaea Jenny. I wasn’t allowed to speak te reo Māori as a child – I got a whack with a ruler on my first day of school for that. Mum and my aunties used to kōrero in te reo, but behind closed doors. In the end the reo started when we did our prayers, our karakia. That’s how we learned the language. I joined a Māori culture group and performed at a young age. It was a place where you could go away and express yourself. It was non-judgemental. And whatever you put in to it, you got out of it. To this day I love kapa haka. Our father was an alcoholic and a violent man. My mother, brothers and I all suffered beatings from him. But our mum made sure that we weren’t brought up outside a pub. She was our saviour really. She supported us all, and it is thanks to her that we have gone on to have the lives we’ve had. One day my parents got a visit from the government saying they were going to take us kids away. And so, I left school at 14 and a half to look after the two youngest ones while mum went to work. It is these experiences that give me empathy for our whānau – a real understanding of what they have experienced and what they are going through now. Manaakitangata was an everyday thing for us. Mum was strict about it – we had to uphold the mana of ourselves and of the family, and we learned to respect others’ beliefs too. We need to prepare our whānau for the next generation. From a Māori perspective, it’s about making sure someone else can step into your shoes. When my oldest brother died, one of the whānau from back home got up to speak and said, “Who’s going to look after us now?” My whānau – all of us – were the ones who looked after everyone in Motueka. So, when someone died, we were the ones who went in and supported the families, sat on the paepae, did the karanga – did all the work to look after everyone. And then it dawned on me – all of this manaakitangata was taught to us. Now I understand what it means. Today, it is great to work for an organisation like DCM, where manaakitanga is one of our core values. Whaea Jenny and her colleagues worked together with police to develop a new family violence kaupapa while she was employed in Taranaki. At the age of 40 I decided to enrol at Nelson Polytechnic where I studied for a Mental Health Support Workers Certificate. I was nervous as I’d had very little education growing up; however, thanks to my kaiako (teacher) and follow peers, I managed to graduate. I have worked in both the North and South Islands, with kaupapa Māori services and mental health services. I was with Gateway Housing Trust in Nelson, up in Auckland working for Te Whare Tiaki Trust, then in South Taranaki for 18 years working for Ngāti Ruanui Iwi Social Services, before joining Kahungunu Whānau Services in Wellington, in the same building where I work with DCM today. I first came to know about the mahi of DCM by beginning and ending our days alongside the team here in Lukes Lane, as we joined together for the morning waiata and karakia. I felt a calling that I just had to be with DCM. I wanted to work with the most marginalised whānau. So, after a hui with DCM Director Stephanie, and an interview with Taone and Neavin, I was employed by DCM. I began here in September 2019. Whaea Jenny lends her support at one of DCM's COVID vaccine clinics, November 2021. I love the whānau who come here to DCM. If we can give a bit of ourselves to them, we get so much back. I want to see them all housed, and for DCM to show them a different way forward. We’re getting them into homes, but we need more than just homes. For me in my role as Toa, I am working alongside our Practice Leader Sia to get DCM’s Tātai Aro practice framework in place. We are learning what mana-enhancing services are all about, and making sure that DCM is culturally viable, and that all of our staff have the capacity and capability to step up and make things work. Among our team, there is a wealth of knowledge, and everyone has their own tikanga, with so much to share. I am grateful to have this opportunity to share my knowledge too. I always go back to Stephanie, who made this job happen for me. Stephanie was DCM's director for 16 years, and she made the place rock. I am excited to be part of the team with Stephen at the helm, as we map our way forward, and can't wait to see what comes next for our amazing organisation, where manaakitanga sits at the heart of everything we do. Thank you Whaea Jenny for sharing the precious taonga that is your story with us. This story uses elements of Whaea Jenny's Kaimahi Kōrero with Michelle Scott. (Thanks Michelle!) <!-- --> Do you know someone who may like to join DCM? We currently have a Kaiarataki Piki te Kaha (Senior Manager) role, Kaimahi (Key Worker) roles as part of DCM's Piki te Ora Pou, along with Kaiāwhina (Peer Support Worker) roles available at DCM. Do you know someone who, like Jenny, could use their life experience to help support others on the journey to sustainable housing and wellbeing? All the info is available on our website. Please get in touch, and, as always, please forward this Ngā Kōrero on to anyone who may like to learn more about our mahi.   Support DCM <!-- --> <!-- --> Copyright © 2023 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM
      • 96 Ngā Kōrero - Latest Stories from DCM p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; 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} } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:30px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:26px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } From a bus stop to a whare by the beach – Michelle’s story communities where whānau are housed, connected, valued and thriving About Us Contact Kia atawhai – Be kind On the road with DCM's Aro Mai Housing First Hutt Team  DCM's Aro Mai Housing First Hutt Team led by Barrie (left), with Karen, Te Paki, Ashleigh, Cindel and Daniel, at the office in Kokiri, Seaview, Lower Hutt. (Not pictured: Luisa.) DCM is well-known for the work we do in Wellington, but did you know we have a team working in the Hutt? Since July 2020, our Hutt team have been part of the Tākiri Mai Te Ata Whānau Ora collective, providing services to people who are experiencing homelessness in the Hutt Valley.   Based at Kōkiri Marae, our Hutt team are part of the wider Aro Mai Housing First whānau, and they remind us of an old DCM saying, “We might be small. But we are working on some of the biggest problems facing our city.” Along with providing Housing First services, the Hutt Team do Outreach work, and collaborate with Wā Kainga to ensure the whānau they are working with remain housed, and that no one falls through the cracks.   In this month’s update, we are using the motto Kia atawhai (Be kind), and it is thanks to the kindness of the people of the Hutt Valley, and the hard mahi of our amazing Hutt Team, that we have been able to see people like Michelle thrive. <!-- --> From a bus stop to a whare by the beach – Michelle’s story It was just before the pandemic when Alex and Paula from DCM’s Aro Mai Housing First team managed to meet with Michelle at a Lower Hutt café. Michelle presented as very tidy, and happy to sign a consent form so the DCM team could work to help get her housed. She listed her address as ‘Waterloo bus stop’. Michelle was very thin, and it was clear she had been roughing it for a long time.   The meeting came about due to the concern of the general public in the Hutt for Michelle’s wellbeing, which led to many calls to Hutt City Council for a response. Soon after the meeting, Michelle disappeared again, as her mental health challenges took hold once more.   Alex did not give up, searching for Michelle at some of her favourite hot spots, such as MIX, a service supporting those experiencing mental health distress, where Michelle could have a hot meal and charge her phone. Michelle was also a regular at the local library, where the staff knew her well. Michelle with her current key worker Daniel Patelesio. It takes a team to support the whānau we engage with, and others who have supported Michelle include Alex, Paula, Charloh, Kat, and Te Paki. Michelle was sighted sleeping in doorways and on a mattress a member of the public had given her. The public continued to make multiple notifications to the Hutt City Council. Everyone was worried about her wellbeing. When Alex finally found her again, Michelle did not remember her – she could not even recall that they had met.   This is a very familiar story for the DCM team. Mental health is an ongoing issue for many of the people we engage with, who often suffer from trauma and undiagnosed disorders.   Another familiar story is how the pandemic helped many of our whānau move into housing for the first time in a long time. This was true for Michelle too – because without any of the usual supports available to people out on the street, and with services such as libraries closed, emergency housing suddenly became a necessity.   DCM does not believe that emergency housing is a good solution for New Zealand’s housing crisis, and though it temporarily provided Michelle with a roof over her head, it was a struggle in many ways. Michelle became unwell and ended up in hospital, but by this time – mid-2020 – DCM had established a Housing First team in the Hutt Valley. While Michelle was in hospital, Vicki, an Emerge Aotearoa tenancy manager who works with DCM as part of the Aro Mai Housing First collaboration, found her a permanent whare. Michelle was delighted to be able to move in when she was discharged from hospital.   This is where the hard work really started – and it took time for DCM’s vision for communities where whānau are housed, connected, valued and thriving – to become true for Michelle.   By moving people from homelessness into housing, then providing wrap-around support and regular home visits, we uphold people’s mana – and their right to an adequate standard of living as per the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But sometimes, once people are housed, we start to understand what led to their homelessness in the first place. For Michelle, much of our support has been to address her health and wellbeing – other cornerstones of the Housing First concept. Michelle is now housed by the beach, which she loves. Her neighbourhood is great for walking, which she often does during the day to keep fit and healthy. Michelle also enjoys a close relationship with her mother and two daughters who now live nearby.   Michelle’s current key worker is Daniel, who visits regularly. Michelle says she is “Learning to trust people” again through her relationship with Daniel. She now sees how her life has changed in positive ways through her willingness to work with DCM. “I was homeless,” Michelle says, “There is no other way to describe it.”   Daniel has seen Michelle grow, and observed how she has turned her whare into a home. Everything is so well organised. The Housing First team will eventually ‘graduate’ Michelle, as she becomes more confident – and independent.   Meanwhile, the concern of the people of the Hutt Valley didn’t end when they stopped sighting Michelle out on the streets. A DCM staff member who worked with Michelle overheard concerned members of the public speaking about her one day, and was able to inform them that Michelle was now safe, and housed.   It is good to Kia atawhai (Be kind) to people who are rough sleeping or street begging wherever we may see them. But how proud we are to see Michelle go from the Waterloo bus stop, to her very own whare by the beach. WORDS: MIRIAM HENDRY / PHOTOS: SUPPLIED. <!-- --> What to do if you are concerned about someone rough sleeping or street begging You can make a difference! Don't give people money or food when you see them out on the streets. Acknowledge people and, if appropriate, direct them to DCM services. But better still – if you are concerned about someone rough sleeping or street begging, call Hutt City Council on 0800 488 824 or Wellington City Council on 04 499 4444 – and they will notify our team. Together – with your help – we truly can end homelessness in our city.   Support DCM <!-- --> <!-- --> Copyright © 2023 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • The artist as many other things first
      • Holly McEntegart in conversation with Anne Noble, facilitated by Mark Amery <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble Merging her work as an artist, mother and full spectrum doula, Holli McEntegart recently brought something remarkably different to the bustle of Wellington’s Courtenay Place, in an exploration of art as a social practice.  Providing a warm, calm space for participation, Inhabit brought together mothers and their infants to examine how community, cultural and whānau postpartum care has changed in Aotearoa, sharing experiences in real-time and as oral history. A private issue was brought into a public realm. Rethinking the artist’s role in society, McEntegart was supported by artist Anne Noble in a project commissioned by Letting Space for vacant space activators Urban Dream Brokerage. McEntegart now has plans to bring the project to Auckland.  Here are Holli and Anne in conversation. Mark Amery Anne Noble: Letting Space and Urban Dream Brokerage have made a really remarkable contribution to the Wellington art scene. Letting Space positioned itself as an entity that sits outside the conventional domain of the gallery, where the artist is mostly defined e as a producer of objects and artefacts. They offered an experimental space and an invitation to artists to expand the ecology of contemporary art and provide support for them to provide a new kind of experience for communities and publics to engage with contemporary art I see Inhabit as a perfect example of the kind of project that Letting Space and Urban Dream Brokerage were established to nurture, enable and support.  When I first thought about your ambition for Inhabit: to marry both your practices as an artist and a full spectrum doula, one of my first questions was about the expanded role of the artist in a social practice. How is your work first and foremost art while being shaped by other practices and concerns?   What came to mind was a book [^1] I’ve had on my bookshelf, which has on its cover The Artist As followed by a list: that includes such descriptors of the artist as .. producer; the artist as… archivist; the artist as… ethnographer; the artist as… catalyst; the artist as… orchestrator; the artist as… poet; the artist as… curator. And it ends with this really beautiful phrase in capital letters: AND MANY OTHER THINGS FIRST. This points to the fundamental premise of your art practice - driven and formed by another whole domain of expertise, professional practice, experience and activist concerns. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble | Infant massage with Jo Chambers. From left: Megan Rodgers and Jasper, Jo Chambers from Blissful Bubs You define yourself as a social practice artist but you also practice as a full spectrum doula.   How did you arrive at the idea of merging your practice as an artist with your life as a mother, your interest in the post-partum experience and your activism in this space?    Holli McEntegart: You and I talked a lot about the artist as a conduit; or as activator. As a young artist I was always really interested in capturing images of moments that had complicated stories behind them. I realised that my interest was often more in the story; how we got to this point; the full stop. The work was always, for me, in the negotiation of  getting to that image - with the image itself feeling lacklustre in comparison to that journey. Then when I moved to Pittsburgh to complete my Masters I found that there was a greater focus on social practice as a role for the artmaker. The driving need for me has always been to build relationships, and therefore community. So when I was taking photographs I would spend months getting to know people, navigating the permission, not just to be there, but to be accepted; to belong. I’ve joined every group under the sun! A loon (an aquatic bird) counting group in Maine, a porcelain painting group in Mt Albert, a bluegrass group, banjo club and a barbershop quartet in Pittsburgh, and a cake decorating group in Otara, to name a few. But I didn't feel like I had the right to be there unless I was really an accepted part of the community. That came to a head for me in Pittsburgh when I joined a  semi-gated spiritualist community called Lily Dale, and began making work out of the readings they were doing for me. I would spend eight months with them before I could make that work. By the time I was living in New York there were many grants, residencies and galleries supporting a socially engaged framework of art making. My eyes were opened to the fact that this community exchange and the energy I was investing into relationship building was not only valid, it was the work.That really gave me permission to move past just documenting my work with photographs or videos and writing and to pull the focus back to the process, the making and the relationship tending.  Research is a huge part of my process, whatever I’m working on I’m always off down a research tunnel. So, when I got pregnant in New York with my first child Arlo I went on a huge journey to understand pregnancy, birth and everything that was happening to my body. I discovered that in New York City, the maternal mortality rate in pregnancy, birth and early postpartum is astoundingly high, and that black women are 12 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. OB’s are often pushing for a lot of unnecessary interventions within the hospital system and midwives are not as commonly used, though that is changing. I come from a family of home birthers in New Zealand, it was normalised and seemed like the obvious place for me to birth, but only around 1.5% of people give birth at home in the US, so it's quite a radical thing to do in that context.  I was so lucky that I had a neighbour and friend who was training to be a midwife and was working as a birth doula. Through her I discovered this group of folks called doulas. I started learning about the role they play in birth work, about reproductive and birth justice advocacy, and about everything I was going to need to know to birth my baby at home while being supported by a midwife and doula team. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble New York City is so compact, we had a tiny apartment and I had a home studio. My son, Arlo, was born underwater, in a birth pool on my studio floor. At that point I had been working for some time within these spiritualist communities. I had been really delving into why people were seeking healing in these communities and what it meant to be constantly practising these healing rituals. Birthing my son in my studio was like an epiphany, I was on a healing journey myself and this was a part of the work.  Birth was incredibly healing for me at that point in my life and then, like many people, postpartum was a completely different beast. Like most people experiencing giving birth far from their home and family, I just felt an intense lack of support from the world. And with that a deep loneliness. I was so homesick. My parents came to visit for two weeks which was incredible, but it went so fast. A few good friends showed up as best they could but I was living and working as an artist in New York, I didn’t know anyone with babies or even young kids. People are busy - for everyone else, life goes on. It’s the postpartum person that is stuck in stillness, but constantly working. It was a totally different world. You get the sense  that everybody shows up for birth, everyones interested, you learn so much about pregnancy and childbirth, tracking the changes in your body all the way through to this kind of event, and then everyone leaves, and you’re left in charge of a human. It’s wild, uncharted territory and no-one’s told you that much, or what they have told you is irrelevant, biassed, outdated and sometimes even harmful. I longed for my family, mostly for my mum. I found myself floating out to sea, and there was a realisation that no one was going to rescue me - I had to rescue myself. And to do that I needed  to dive even deeper into what was happening to me, go down that research tunnel again and find out what support there was in the world and how I could heal.  That led to me doing Seen, a postpartum doula mentorship programme with Birdsong Brooklyn, and learning constantly - four or five months too late - what could have rescued me before I needed rescuing! It was eye opening and there was a lot of deep grief about the care I had missed out on, and the ways I could have been  supported. I was diving deeply into the profoundness of becoming a mother and the reality of how much is lacking in the world in supporting new parents. I just fell in love with this idea that we could be healing collectively if we just looked after each other better and shared our knowledge.  I built my community from that in New York in that first year of parenting. At that point I had been  working for three years as the studio manager for an incredible artist, Janine Antoni, who is also a parent and understands that mothering work. It was a huge question for me: how do I keep working in the world as an artist, be able to show up as a mother and earn enough money to live? How do I juggle all of this and stay tethered to myself? I gave birth to my son when I was 38 and I was being called a geriatric mother by the medical system. It scared me. I wanted to breathe in my baby, just inhale him and not miss a second. But  how do I do that and keep up my practice? Well… I just gave birth to my son in my studio…. It was these layers of realisation: this labour is the work. I have to reframe my life so that this labour of the home, the labour of care, of mothering, is seen and valued. So I left my job in the studio with Janine and went straight into postpartum doula training. I needed to be immersed in the community in the same way I had been with the spiritualists or the cake decorators or the bird counters in Maine. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Holli McEntegart | Multiples Feeding Support Group. From left: Jessie Lee Broadbent, anon Anne: You have talked about your journey as a photographer engaging with communities, and how the outcome can be separated from those experiences that feel like part of the work. That is n true for many documentary photography projects.You’ve also described beautifully your dissatisfaction with being both outside a subject and yet needing to be  right in the heart of it.  The notion of a social practice artist is less common in New Zealand than in the US. It has currency in art schools, but my instinct when we first met and talked was that you have a really highly evolved practice in which you prioritise your  relationship as an artist to the post-partum communities you engage with  Your work  begins with you your life as a mother and your practice as a doula being the site of public art activism, of making the post-partum world experience shared and visible. How have you then addressed the visibility of this as an artwork? You only need to look at the project website to see the level of community engagement and the number of people you have drawn into this space. It’s really significant. Those workshops - people flocked to them. But to make it public, visible to participants and to audiences how does that work?  Holli: What comes first for me is the relationship, being a good community member and trust. I come at relationship building and getting people involved with their whole heart; with a genuine interest and respect. I have to have something at risk as well. Inhabit was a year in the making, but the day we opened, with a multiples lactation support workshop. We had six twin mums and probably six assistants or helpers, including grandmas, friends, lactation and doula support. That's 12 babies plus Indigo [Holli’s own baby]. Over 24 bodies breathing life into the space. That was the moment that the work became art; that it became an artwork. It was activated by the community of people in the room and their energy. Up until then there’s a lot of risk on my part because I don’t know who is going to show up and what they will bring on the day. The work is filled with intention but it has to meet people where they are and vice versa, and for that reason, it’s never the same, it evolves and unfolds and, much like mothering, I must surrender to it.   I think I’m comfortable leaning into the unknown. Within a socially engaged practice you really don’t know how your participants or your audience (the public) are going to enter the work.  I consider the folks facilitating  workshops my co-creators. There were six months of emailing and zoom conversations about what I was making with that final group of people, so many conversations about what the community needed. And then there was a point when  they came to me with a  plan to set up this specific workshop for multiples families. They were asking for my permission, and I was overjoyed because, it was at that point that they took ownership and really began to have agency within the work. That was the moment when the community was activated, they started creating what they needed under the umbrella that I offered - this community activation was where the social practice aspect of the work really came into play. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Milan Maric | Combined yoga and Infant massage workshop with Emma Chen Flitcroft and Jo Chambers I was coming to Wellington, into a community I’m not from, so I’m constantly asking myself, how do I leave this space better than when I got here?  Within social practice I think there is a very real responsibility to care for the community you're working in and to make sure there are ongoing care agreements in that community. Everyone that provided a workshop for Inhabit offers free or sliding scale services that could continue to be accessed after Inhabit closed for example.  Anne: That’s a beautiful description of the artist as catalyst. I’m very fond of the notion that when an artist plays those roles, the artist in a conventional sense disappears to become a  generating and catalysing force  Holli: I’m interested in the way my role shifted from facilitator to participant, or mother , or host. Hourly that changed. Originally I thought I would be facilitating some workshops but I didn't end up doing that because so many people wanted to facilitate their own. At the beginning of each workshop I would introduce the project and really ground it back into the context of an artwork, to remind people they were participating in something both bigger than them, but also inherently generated by them, and then I would participate alongside them. I was  never an observer, I was a participant.  I think it’s really important I have the ability to be part of what’s happening as opposed to being an outsider. Learning, participating and being vulnerable. That vulnerability permissions other people in the space to also be vulnerable. It’s not like, as you’re describing Anne, that ‘‘you’re the artist and you’re over there’ on a pedestal. The process is about me sinking back into the work. It’s a dance between making sure people feel like they are being held and acknowledged and the space is being tended to in the correct way, but not dominating it. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble Anne: As a public artwork, positioned in Courtenay Place, it was a really beautiful intervention with really subtle signage and this glowing light masked by a wall of handmade stitched together nappies! It offered a surprising encounter that was intriguingly signposted and people were welcomed to just stop and to consider what it might be - as a public art project.  Sometimes I was amazed at the number of people participating and how  the work created an opportunity for a community to assemble. How did you introduce participants to the process of being part of something for them but also part of something larger? Of being participants and collaborators in Inhabit as an artwork. Holli: That was definitely one of my biggest challenges. There were a couple of things I did practically. Even before Inhabit opened I worked very hard to centre the project in the community with this drawing project that involved - six Love Note posters that were plastered repetitively around the city in the two weeks leading up to our opening. I was documenting them in situ and sending images of them to people when they were signing up for the workshops as well as using them in social media. So there was a centring of it as an art project before they arrived. Most people had seen these drawings and then saw the wall of Love Notes  growing on the wall when they came into the space. I introduced that as a collaborative drawing project and really impressed the importance of adding everyone's voice to that growing archive.   <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Lily Dowd I constantly was re-centring it as an artwork in this way all the time, and encouraging the public  to participate, reminding them of what they are a part of. I see the Love Notes as the beginning of an archive of postpartum stories - a collection. And that maybe this is how we start something: a movement, a book, an archive - we just have to start putting our stories on the wall. I think that grew really organically and became a way for people to gently  be reminded of the fact that they were a part of an artwork, and then they forgot about it - which was great. Someone hands them a bowl of soup, nourishes them, checks in and makes sure they’re OK. Offers to hold their baby.  and that energy of care flows into the space and  people feel really comfortable. And that comfort was there in part because I was there visibly parenting, making the work. Creating a space that makes visible the lived experience of parenting, and artmaking at the same time.   <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble As it transpired there was very little foot traffic, and actually the space needed to be very protected, intimate and gate kept. So the curtain that I made really provided a level of intimacy. It is another drawing project I had been working on as a part of the show, but I didn’t quite know where it would fit. I’ve been collecting these used flat nappies. They are very identifiable, heavily washed and starched white cotton with a red stripe down the side. They are the kind of do everything cloth of motherhood. So representative of the labour of the home. Soaking up the mess of it all. I’ve been stamping all over them with my own mother at my kitchen table, “Ssshhhhhh sshhh shhh ssshhh shh shh shh…” On the first day of installation it was clear to me that we needed to be able to transform the space into a private, intimate one, and to open it up to the world. Sewing the nappies together to make a curtain was a wonderful way to create that boundary between public and private. And then at the end of the last workshop I was really inspired to “pull back that curtain” and be seen. I called you and asked you to document this moment of being seen in parenting and artmaking. It was such a moment of connectivity and community connection. There’s now two groups I believe that came together at Inhabit and are continuing to meet. It was great to cultivate this level of nurturance and community engagement  in a place like Courtenay Place - buses, cars and people with so much going-to-work energy,  once we pulled back that curtain I think people were taken aback by it “there are so many babies!” <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Milan Maric | Combined yoga and Infant massage workshop with Emma Chen Flitcroft and Jo Chambers Anne: Yes it was a brightly lit window that glowed like a little jewel! And was such a surprising experience walking by. You’ve described the artist as a generator and how there is a legacy for participants beyond the exhibition space. What were some of the highpoints during Inhabit and some of those legacies? Holli: The highest high was our opening, that first day. 13 babies in the space. One of the sets of twins was only five weeks old and it was their first time out of the house and their mum had driven an hour to get there, they spent all day with us. Any future Inhabit projects will always open with a multiples workshop  because these folks are the least catered for within the system. The world was not made for people birthing two or three babies at a time… So to have this space where people were surrounded by support and advice and understanding. It was so magic and it was so clear there was a need for that.  I think that in the current Covid climate people are feeling so much more isolated and unable to get out of the house. Opportunities for connection that were available to parents pre covid often aren't now, like community or library meetups and coffee groups. Many people were speaking of coming to Inhabit  as the first time they’d been to a group outside the home, there is a lot of isolation and fear out there, and a deep lack in support services. A few people who weren’t parents had some very interesting interactions with the space as an artwork, which I found fascinating. Some really generative conversations came from them being confronted: that they were coming to a public  exhibition, and were questioning ‘what is this?!’ I had very interesting conversations with other artists about what participation looks like when you’re not a parent. For parents their participation was organic but for others, it felt very different. They accessed it through my facilitation and it was interesting seeing them sink into comfort because they were being cared for; getting down on the floor and playing with Indigo. Having some soup, and learning about traditions of postpartum care and methodologies. I’m interested in pulling back the veil on this kind of care work because we can all benefit from learning how to tend to our communities and families. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Milan Maric Another highlight was my involvement with Little Shadow. They run perinatal mental health support groups in the Wellington region and virtually across the motu. They were so supportive of this project. They really saw the power of what Inhabit created in offering an entrance point  to conversations about perinatal mental health that are softer and more nurturing than how it’s often tackled when people are looking for support within a healthcare system. Inhabit provides nourishing food, a space to express yourself creatively, a place to move your postpartum body,  and a room full of folks on a similar path. Once there, we are able to get into the nitty gritty of what we are all experiencing because the space itself is so tended to. Something that I repeat all the time is that I’m examining patterns of care, whilst caring for our communities. I want to decolonise postpartum care so that we may all gain the knowledge of how to care for each other. Then there was that final reveal, pulling back that curtain. I felt I was truly being seen as my whole self in the work. Before that point I was a shapeshifter facilitating everybody else's journey. But at that moment I was in my deeply creative space of making and mothering as I  finished the project. It felt like closure and an answer to that question of how I can be an artist, make work and be a parent. It struck me how that question has deeply impacted my relationships with people and how I move in the world.  In my first few days in Wellington I had a clear vision of that image we captured at the  end. I saw the room glowing with light, semi dark outside and the interior being a place of making and of process. A gallery, and a living room and a studio and a feeding place. Where bums are getting changed, a place where all of life is happening at the same time. And that the public are walking past and peeking in. The labour of parenthood and of artmaking is usually so invisible. That moment at the end just felt like: let’s get it all on display! <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Milan Maric <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Milan Maric Anne: I love what you say about risk. Because if art doesn't involve risk it doesn't leave the opportunity for engagement - If it's there and says it all it doesn’t ask very much of people. The way both your processes of making and lived experience are entirely central to the work raises questions for people coming in off the street  - challenging their notions about art - and confronts them with the invisibility of the post-partum experience. Can you talk about how Inhabit is an evolving work? How it’s more than  a one-off event where communities come together and are potentially transformed. How is the  website a part of the evolution of the work? Holli: If you are thinking about community engagement and looking at different types of communities' needs then you’ve got to move around those communities. My vision for Inhabit was always that it would move around the motu. One of the things I thought was important about the experience in Wellington was that it felt disruptive. It felt radical. It was an  interesting way to inhabit vacant space in the CBD and disrupt a community. It ignited something that people were aware they needed, but no-one knew how to connect on and build.  <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Anne Noble I think there’s a lot of power in Inhabit travelling around regionally and disrupting systems in ways that are really positive and ignite connection. I think of little things growing, sprouting. And of having this homebase of an archive online where we can collect and hold these postpartum stories and learn from what we’ve been doing here to better support communities. Anne: Thanks Holli - for the pleasure of being a small part of this project with you.  Anne Noble (Laureate), ONZM, is a photographer and curator whose work spans still and moving image, installation and international curatorial commissions. Over multiple projects Annne Noble has considered the significance of memory and imagination to personal and cultural narratives of place and belonging.Holli McEntegart is an interdisciplinary artist using social practice, video, performance, photography and text. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Photography (NZ), and a Masters of Visual Art and Design from Auckland University of Technology (NZ), which included a one year MFA scholarship at Carnegie Mellon School of Art, Pittsburgh (USA). In 2014  she was an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine (USA). Her work has been performed and exhibited throughout the USA and New Zealand. In 2018 she trained as a Full Spectrum Doula after giving birth to her first son in Brooklyn, New York. Returning to Aotearoa in 2020, where she continues her work as an artist and as a Reproductive Justice Advocate. Holli is now an island named Mother to two boys, aged 4 and 9 months.  <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Image: Holli McEntegart | Multiples Feeding Support Group - From left; Anon, Georgie Manning, Jessie [^1]: Aileen Burns, Tara McDowell, and Johan Lundh, The Artist As Producer, Quarry, Thread, Director, Writer, Orchestrator, Ethnographer, Choreographer, Poet, Archivist, Forger, Curator, and Many Other Things First. Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Curatorial Practice at Monash University, Melbourne and Sternberg Press, 2018.
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    • The unsung heroes of DCM
      • 96 The unsung heroes of DCM p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; 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line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } Solving problems with Fahimeh communities where whānau are housed, connected, valued and thriving About Us Contact 2023 – a year of challenges and opportunities Kia ora koutou We hope you have had a great start to your year. Here at DCM, there isn’t a closing down time, as we continue to support the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our community throughout the Christmas and New Year period. You may have seen other social services in the news talking about how they are finding that people are harder off than ever before. We’re finding this too at DCM. While milestones are being met, we know that the housing crisis is not over yet, and the people we meet here at DCM continue to be among the most economically-impacted members of our community. Fortunately, our incredible team – DCM’s hard-working kaimahi – makes sure that our whānau are not left on the bottom rung of the housing ladder. While our people may face significant challenges amidst the cost of living crisis, our team ensures they have access to the supports they need to thrive. We have two significant opportunities this year to ensure our whānau also have a voice on the national stage – the March census and October general election. We will do everything we can to make these opportunities accessible for our people, including having a polling booth right here at DCM, just as we did in 2020 when over 100 whānau voted, many for the very first time. We hope you will also ensure your voice is heard at the general election, so that the progress that has been made to tackle homelessness in Aotearoa is maintained. Behind our team are the many unsung heroes of DCM. In this update we share the story of Fahimeh, who has been collaborating with DCM to build our capability, so that we can continue doing what we do – but do it even better. Perhaps her story might spark some ideas about how you too can support DCM in 2023? Stephen Turnock  Manahautū DCM Manahautū Stephen (centre) leads karakia and waiata in Te Aro Park. DCM is taking part in Neighbours Aotearoa and will be leading waiata in the park every Monday and Friday at 9am for the next few months. If you're in the neighbourhood, join us! <!-- --> Unsung heroes of DCM Solving problems with Fahimeh Fahimeh McGregor loves to solve problems. And she certainly has the skills to do so – with a doctorate in the adoption of IT for performance and productivity improvement from AUT (Auckland University of Technology), she has 19 publications and 42 citations to her original family name, which is Zaeri. Fahimeh was born in Iran in the strategic town of Bandarabbas, on the Persian Gulf. Fahimeh was the youngest of seven siblings, and describes her early family life as very difficult. “I’m a revolution baby. The Iran Revolution happened in 1978 and was followed by a war between Iran and Iraq, which makes me part of the war generation as well. This took place during my primary schooling, and as my city is located in the south, close to the border – a port on the Gulf – it had a huge impact.” There was a lot of trauma for Fahimeh and her family. She describes nights without power, with all access to utilities cut for hours, while having to do her homework next to a little oil lamp. “Years later, I realised that I never had any wishes as a child. We had family wishes, which were to make sure that in the morning all of us would get to have another day together. There was no certainty, or an understanding of what a stable life is. Here in New Zealand, people have got a very natural stability – unless, perhaps, they are experiencing hardship and homelessness.” Fahimeh at five years old - the only photo from her childhood. Fahimeh’s big inspiration was her father. He was highly educated for his time, leaving his farming background to do a diploma in literacy and accounting. As Bandarabbas is such a significant port city, the Iran government feared it could be lost, and though 90% of trade came through the port, profits only went to the capital, Tehran. Fahimeh’s father tried to protect the rights of his community. “But after the revolution, he came under a lot of pressure,” Fahimeh reflects. “He had to give up everything. The only memory I have from when I was two years old was the night we had to burn his books. That picture is still in my head. I am always asking myself, ‘Why? What’s wrong with his books?’” Fahimeh’s father died from a heart attack at a young age, but he continued to inspire her. “He loved his community. He believed in change. That’s why when I got my first job, I put my community's rights at the top of my list.” Fahimeh went to university in Iran, where she met many people appointed to their first position by her father. She started volunteering – always a passion of Fahimeh’s – and later got a job working for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Design, where she worked hard to introduce transparency within a corrupt system. “I was quite hot-headed. I was young and thought I could change everything. I did my best, whatever I could, but my mum realised it wasn’t a safe environment for me. She tapped me on the shoulder one day and said, ‘You need to leave this country’.” Realising she wouldn't be safe any longer, Fahimeh left Iran. She moved to Malaysia in 2010, where she continued studying toward her Master's Degree. This was supposed to take two years, but Fahimeh finished her Master's in 14 months. Despite not knowing anyone, Fahimeh’s next destination was New Zealand, where in 2013 she picked up her studies at AUT thanks to a scholarship. With a doctorate added to her name, Fahimeh soon turned her attention to giving back. “I want to be utilised for the community. That’s the most important thing for me. I want to make sure that wherever there are challenges, I can help people and organisations.” Fahimeh started her industry experience by applying her research in a large infrastructure project, Waterview Well-Connected Alliance. She was then offered an innovative leadership role by Fletcher Building, to lead a continuous improvement culture in the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) project. Always wanting to create her own consulting business, Fahimeh later formed a company called DELTA Informed Decisions, which brought her to DCM. Fahimeh met with DCM Manahautū Stephen, to collaborate on solving the challenges of DCM’s processes and systems. “I had regular meetings with Stephen,” Fahimeh says. “I needed to hear what he is passionate about. He is a very driven person and wants to deliver quality outcomes that drive improvement.” Fahimeh with DCM's Kaiarataki Kāhui. From there, Fahimeh met with DCM’s Kaiarataki Kāhui (leadership group), guiding them through a collaborative process to identify how DCM can best work towards its strategic goals. While Fahimeh has the knowledge and expertise, it was the leadership team that needed to ensure everything was moving in the right direction, to allow DCM to engage in a meaningful way with whānau and other stakeholders. Fahimeh also spent time with many other kaimahi. “First is people. I listen to the language, and pick up different lenses people have got. Everyone is like a big ocean to me. There’s so much you can discover to help shape a better practice model.” With DCM’s new organisational model and strategic goals implemented, it was time to look at some technology solutions to help pull this 53-year-old social service into the modern world. One of Fahimeh’s first projects was tackling DCM’s long-time Money Management Service. Fahimeh started with a diagnostic phase, analysing the efficiency of the processes to gain an understanding of where opportunities for improvement may lie. While DCM’s kaimahi may not have known it, all of Fahimeh’s tools are science-based. “Everyone downloads their knowledge to the table,” Fahimeh says. “People around the table will often say, ‘Oh! I thought it was this way, not that way?’ And it can be frustrating in a way, because I have to ask a lot of questions!” Another project Fahimeh has undertaken is the adoption of an entirely new database system for DCM – Exess. While it may not sound very exciting, DCM is completely reliant on data and evidence to gain insights into the whānau they are working with, and trends that are happening with homelessness in Wellington. For example, did you know that DCM engaged with 1,085 whānau last year, of whom 647 experienced homelessness, and 230 went without shelter altogether at some point during the year? Or that 71.6% of all DCM whānau are male, and that 52.8% are Māori? Importantly, it is this kind of data that DCM needs to report back to the powers-that-be. Exess is now in its testing phase, and DCM looks forward to the massive improvements this information management system will achieve for the organisation, especially with its whānau-centric outcomes model. Fahimeh has enjoyed her time at DCM, which is why she has given back by donating her valuable time in-kind. “DCM has its challenges, but this has been the most enjoyable and rewarding project I’ve done,” Fahimeh shares. “You guys have got a passion for people. I can feel your heart beating for your whānau. That’s quite fascinating to me – everything is about them. Businesses often say they are customer-centric, but it’s not as tangible as you experience at DCM.” Fahimeh and Stephen. Fahimeh is saddened by the current situation in Iran. She recently went to Turkey to help two of her nieces escape the country. Both are now safely in Istanbul – one registered at high school, and the other at university, continuing the family’s passion for education. “It’s another revolutionary time in Iran. It’s really sad to see what is happening. What I always say is that I wish for peace in the world. And not just for the Iranian people – everyone deserves a peaceful life. And that is true for the whānau DCM is supporting too. Living outside, sleeping out, is so damaging for your health. I hope that the tools DCM now has will help your kaimahi achieve amazing results for them.” <!-- --> Can you help? There are many ways that you can be part of our work here at DCM. One way is – like Fahimeh – through offering your professional expertise. Volunteer dentist Shennae (left) with dental assistant Ella (right) at a session at DCM in January. Oral health care is one of the most significant unmet needs of the people DCM works with. We are looking forward to celebrating the 7th anniversary of DCM's emergency dental service in March 2023 – read about our 5th anniversary here. But we haven't been able to do as many dental sessions as we'd like since the pandemic arrived. Are you a dentist, or do you know a dentist who may like to do a session with us? If you can help, or if you know someone who can, please get in touch.   Support DCM <!-- --> Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. With your basket and my basket, the people will thrive. <!-- --> Copyright © 2023 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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