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Staff

Our diverse team of young professional youth workers and social workers have all come through our programme during their high school years and have a deep and intimate knowledge of our schools, communities, students needs and their huge potential. Our coordinators provide a consistent example and ongoing emotional and practical support for our vibrant young people. 

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Alex Tarrant

General Manager

Alex Tarrant is the General Manager of The Rising Foundation and is responsible for supporting the team to guide their personal and professional development. Also continually improving the structure, processes and service provision to ensure that we give our very best to support the students, families, schools and communities we serve.

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Donna Rogers

Programme Administrator

Hello, my name is Donna Rogers and I’ve been with TRF since May 2012.  I’ve lived in Papakura most of my life, apart from the kiwi OE experience for three years which I absolutely loved and would recommend to any young adult.  I attended the local schools being; Papakura Intermediate and Papakura High. 

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Tiare Matara

Employment Pathways Manager

Kia ora whanau, my name is Tiare Matara and I am the Employment Pathways Manager. I am also a proud Mother to my beautiful daughter Lilo Nu’u. Our services named “Transition 2” prepares our young people for post-schooling opportunities. Our service aims to equip students with a motivation to turn their dreams into a reality. 

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Gideon Rihari

Programme Coordinator

Ko Ngapuhi tōku Iwi,

Ko Ngati Torehina ki Matakaa tōku hapū,

Ko Gideon Rihari ahau.

My name is Gideon Rihari and I have been a Programme Coordinator for The Rising Foundation based at Rosehill College for the past five years.

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Jordan Tanielu

Programme Coordinator

Hi my name is Jordan Tanielu, I am 24 years old and I am a TRF Programme Coordinator based in Manurewa High School. I was born and raised in Papakura and moved to Otara in 2010, so you could say I know South Auckland really well.  As well as working full time, I am currently studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. 

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Programme Coordinator

Malo le soifua maua ma le lagi e mamā

Talofa lava, my name is Aviata Tanielu and I am a graduate of The Rising Foundation programme from the 2014 cohort of Papakura High School. I also have the great privilege of being the TRF Programme Coordinator for Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in The Promised Land of South Auckland, Otara.

Aviata Tanielu

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Alex Tarrant

General Manager

Alex Tarrant is the General Manager of The Rising Foundation and is responsible for supporting the team to guide their personal and professional development. Also continually improving the structure, processes and service provision to ensure that we give our very best to support the students, families, schools and communities we serve.

Donna.jpg

Donna Rogers

Programme Administrator

Hello, my name is Donna Rogers and I’ve been with TRF since May 2012.  I’ve lived in Papakura most of my life, apart from the kiwi OE experience for three years which I absolutely loved and would recommend to any young adult.  I attended the local schools being; Papakura Intermediate and Papakura High. 

Tiare-203x300.jpg

Tiare Matara

Employment Pathways Manager

Kia ora whanau, my name is Tiare Matara and I am the Employment Pathways Manager. I am also a proud Mother to my beautiful daughter Lilo Nu’u. Our services named “Transition 2” prepares our young people for post-schooling opportunities. Our service aims to equip students with a motivation to turn their dreams into a reality. 

Gideon-1.jpg

Gideon Rihari

Programme Coordinator

Ko Ngapuhi tōku Iwi,

Ko Ngati Torehina ki Matakaa tōku hapū,

Ko Gideon Rihari ahau.

My name is Gideon Rihari and I have been a Programme Coordinator for The Rising Foundation based at Rosehill College for the past five years.

Jordan-1-219x300.jpg

Jordan Tanielu

Programme Coordinator

Hi my name is Jordan Tanielu, I am 24 years old and I am a TRF Programme Coordinator based in Manurewa High School. I was born and raised in Papakura and moved to Otara in 2010, so you could say I know South Auckland really well.  I am currently studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. 

Aviata.jpg

Aviata Tanielu

Programme Coordinator

Malo le soifua maua ma le lagi e mamā

Talofa lava, my name is Aviata Tanielu and I am a graduate of The Rising Foundation programme from the 2014 cohort of Papakura High School. I also have the great privilege of being the TRF Programme Coordinator for Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in The Promised Land of South Auckland, Otara.

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Billie Paterson

Programme Coordinator

Kia ora, my name is Billie Paterson. I am a 2014 JB Graduate from Pukekohe High School. I currently have the utmost privilege to be back in the school I graduated from, working as a Programme Coordinator.

Eddie Lepou

Shani Apelu

Programme Coordinator

Malo e lelei, my name is Eddie Lepou and I am 24 years old. I am a Graduate of The Rising Foundation programme class of 2012. I am very privileged and blessed with the opportunity of becoming the Programme Coordinator for Papakura High School, working along-side Tiare.

Programme Coordinator

Heya! My name is Shani Apelu and I’m the newest addition to the The Rising Foundation whanau. Prior to joining the team I was a World Vision Ambassador and visited Uganda in that capacity and I spent my gap year working at Franklin Foods as a factory line worker.

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Teranui Heta

Programme Coordinator

Wendy Savieti

Maria Molina Tarrant

T2 Drive Coordinator and Programme Administrator

T2 Coordinator

Kia Ora,
My name is Te Ranui Heta most commonly known as Ted. I am a J.B Graduate (John Bongard Graduate) of Papakura High School from the 2012 Cohort. I am of Maori descent reigning from the Naughty North Ngati Whatua no Nga Puhi. I was born in the greatest era of all time “THE 90s”. 02:36am on Wednesday 17th August 1994 to be exact!!!

Malo’e’le’lei, Kia Orana

My name is Wendy Savieti and I am working with the Transition 2, Employment Pathways Team with a focus on TRF Drive. I am fortunate enough to have seen The Rising Foundation through different sets of eyes, as a student in the programme, as a Graduate helper at camps and now as part of the Operations team.

Hello, I’m Maria Molina Tarrant, I’m 23 years old and was born in the USA but moved to New Zealand before the age of one. I come from a multicultural family, with my mum being Chilean, and my dad being English. I have always had an interest in cultures and languages and I’m fortunate to live in a county with so much diversity.

Alex Tarrant

Alex is also responsible for integrating the excellent Gem Journey Storytelling process into The Rising Foundation’s transformational youth leadership and character development programme.

Alex is originally from the UK, is married with three children and has lived in New Zealand since 1998. He has a 30 year background in Youth work and prior to his move to The Rising Foundation has served the South Auckland and Franklin communities as a Registered Social Worker with Oranga Tamariki and Whirinaki (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

Donna Rogers

My background is in banking and I left school after finishing Form 7 (Year 13) at 18 years old, to work full-time at ANZ Bank.

After having two children of my own, my natural instinct is to love babies, children and students.  So being asked to work for The Rising Foundation, which started in my home-town, was perfect for me. I’ve seen students start on this programme as a fresh, shy, vulnerable Year 8 or Year 9 and have been privilege to see them graduate as strong, confident, happy Year 13’s.  Having attended many camps over the years, it warms my heart that these students have huge potential and it’s our charity which is showing them that there’s more to life outside of South Auckland and that they can become the best they can at what they love doing.  Giving them a hand up, rather than a hand out is a really important message and plays an essential part of our programme.

 

My role as a Programme Administrator is completing all administration duties that need to be carried out for our not-for-profit organisation. This job is varied and covers a wide range of responsibilities from; Trustee Board Secretary, a member of the fundraising committee, handling payroll, finance, assisting Programme Coordinators with organising camps, camp Mother and Nurse, meeting new sponsors, creating new funding applications, processing audit reports, website maintenance and more.   This role is a crucial part of our charity, which I love.

Tiare Matara

As dismissive as cliches can be, we do hope to capture their vocational aspirations and pathway them with industry professionals.

Here are a few great things I love about The Rising Foundation;

Amazing support – Sir Michael Fay & Sarah, Lady Fay are both generous supporters. They have given me the financial freedom & utmost faith to complete my studies, which they sponsored. Sarah, Lady Fay is also serving on our Board of Trustees.

We see results in how our students behave, what our students achieve, and in how they treat themselves and each other. We witness huge shifts in how they respond to difficult situations in their life, and transformation in who they aspire to be. This growth is just as valuable as our performance targets.

You naturally build a love for witnessing any type of growth from your students and JB graduates over the years which are valuable to TRF.

The most integral part of this role is that we genuinely care about every single individual we work with. Joining The Rising Foundation had a pivotal impact in my life as a student and now as a staff member.

Gideon Rihari

Through the generosity of John and Diane Bongard, I am currently in my 3rd year of my 4 year studies, towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. I was a 2012 graduate from Papakura High School and have been a part of TRF family since 2010.

Since the time I joined, I have come to understand that TRF is more than just a leadership and character development programme, it is also whanau. Students are encouraged to come as they are and learn more about fundamental life principles, which will keep them grounded as they journey through High School and on into their adult life. It is my privilege to be in the position I am and will continue to support young people just as I was supported on my journey.

Alex Tarrant

Alex Tarrant is the General Manager of The Rising Foundation. He is responsible for supporting the team, guiding their development and improving our structure, processes and service provision to ensure that we give our very best to support the students, families, schools and communities we serve.

Alex is continually integrating relevant, emotional wellbeing themes including the excellent Gem Journey Storytelling process into our comprehensive youth leadership and identity development programme.

Originally from the UK, Alex is married with three children and has lived in New Zealand since 1998. He has a 35 year background in Youth Work has served the South Auckland and Franklin communities as a Registered Social Worker with Oranga Tamariki and Whirinaki (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

Contact Details

           

             alex@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 657 9175

Donna Rogers

My background is in banking and I left school after finishing Form 7 (Year 13) at 18 years old, to work full-time at ANZ Bank.

After having two children of my own, my natural instinct is to love babies, children and students.  So being asked to work for The Rising Foundation, which started in my home-town, was perfect for me. I’ve seen students start on this programme as a fresh, shy, vulnerable Year 8 or Year 9 and have been privilege to see them graduate as strong, confident, happy Year 13’s.  Having attended many camps over the years, it warms my heart that these students have huge potential and it’s our charity which is showing them that there’s more to life outside of South Auckland and that they can become the best they can at what they love doing.  Giving them a hand up, rather than a hand out is a really important message and plays an essential part of our programme.

 

My role as a Programme Administrator is completing all administration duties that need to be carried out for our not-for-profit organisation. This job is varied and covers a wide range of responsibilities from; Trustee Board Secretary, a member of the fundraising committee, handling payroll, finance, assisting Programme Coordinators with organising camps, camp Mother and Nurse, meeting new sponsors, creating new funding applications, processing audit reports, website maintenance and more.   This role is a crucial part of our charity, which I love.

Contact Details

           

             donna@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             027 200 9633

Tiare Matara

Contact Details

           

             tiare@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 584 8152

As dismissive as cliches can be, we do hope to capture their vocational aspirations and pathway them with industry professionals.

Here are a few great things I love about The Rising Foundation;

Amazing support – Sir Michael Fay & Lady Sarah Fay are both generous supporters. They have given me the financial freedom & utmost faith to complete my studies, which they sponsored. Lady Sarha Fay is also serving on our Board of Trustees.

We see results in how our students behave, what our students achieve, and in how they treat themselves and each other. We witness huge shifts in how they respond to difficult situations in their life, and transformation in who they aspire to be. This growth is just as valuable as our performance targets.

You naturally build a love for witnessing any type of growth from your students and JB graduates over the years which are valuable to TRF.

The most integral part of this role is that we genuinely care about every single individual we work with. Joining The Rising Foundation had a pivotal impact in my life as a student and now as a staff member.

Gideon Rihari

 
 
 
 

Through the generosity of John and Diane Bongard, I have now completed my Biculturalism Social Work Degree with Te Wananga o Aotearoa.  I was a 2012 graduate from Papakura High School and have been a part of TRF family since 2010. Since the time I joined, I have come to understand that TRF is more than just a leadership and character development programme, it is also whanau. Students are encouraged to come as they are and learn more about fundamental life principles, which will keep them grounded as they journey through High School and on into their adult life. It is my privilege to be in the position I am and will continue to support young people just as I was supported on my journey.

Contact Details

           

             gideon@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 585 1459

Jordan Tanielu

Contact Details

           

             jordan@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 678 5580

My journey with The Rising Foundation began in 2010. My time as a student with TRF was extremely helpful not only academically, but socially and spiritually as well. TRF helped me to do a full 180° turn with my behaviour and attitude towards everything I do, ultimately it helped me find my true identity.

TRF has also helped me open my eyes and see that the world is a much bigger place than South Auckland. TRF took us students and also brought our families along to places like Taupo and the Coromandel which really brought our families closer together. What I also love about The Rising Foundation is that they teach and give you tools that you will need as a young adult stepping out into the ‘real world’ that you wouldn’t normally learn in school i.e. How to write a CV, how to make a plan and have a vision for your future, how to run events like fundraisers and how to present yourself in an interview.

It warms my heart knowing that there are programmes like this that really do care about our youth and families and make a practical difference in their lives. The Rising Foundation has helped me to build my character as an individual. TRF has also equipped me with the appropriate tools and knowledge to collaborate passionately, to encourage and teach our future leaders, so that they can do and be anything they desire to be.

Aviata Tanielu

When I joined TRF as a student back in 2011, I would never have guessed the major impact it would have on me as a young, Pasefika student. One of the most memorable teachings that I can remember would have to be the ‘King of the Jungle’ principle. The Lion is deemed the King of the jungle, purely based upon its own understanding that even though it is not the largest, tallest, strongest or even most fearful animal in the kingdom, what separates it from the rest of the animals and elevates it to kingly status is its ATTITUDE. This lesson has really helped me to think about the way I apply myself to any situation despite the flaws and downfalls, always striving to have the best possible attitude and outlook on life.

It is the impact of these teachings, opportunities, examples and relationships that I have experienced over the years of being a part of TRF that I desire to pass on to our TRF students. I have high hopes that the significance of this programme, will continue to be relevant and fruitful for the youth of today.

Soifua ma ia manuia,

Fa’afetai,

Aviata Tanielu

Contact Details

           

             aviata@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 357 7670

Billie Paterson

To be engaged with a programme as beneficial as TRF through my High School years, was certainly a huge privilege and blessing. From the beginning, the programme has helped me to enhance and progress my knowledge, and understanding of life’s ongoing situations. These challenges are largely the same for our students and families today.

When it was added to the knowledge we already had, the skill set and tools which we gained through the programme, formed a great foundation for us all as we were transitioning through high school. The Rising Foundation provides students with real skills, confidence and tools to network with others in these crucial years of their lives.

These principles also enable us to sustain better relationships with teachers and staff. I’ve learned this from the positive feedback and insight passed on by teachers who have volunteered to support the students and team at camps.

I love this work and it is so good to be able to give something back to the school and programme that did so much in my life.

Contact Details

           

             billie@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 394 7844

Contact Details

           

             eddie@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 394 7017

Eddie Lepou

I have been a part of The Rising Foundation since 2010 while attending Papakura High School and I am pleased to see that the programme is still going strong. Joining The Rising Foundation was one of the best decisions I made back in high school. The bonds of friendship and the family ‘vibe’ that was created over the years is something I’ll forever be grateful for.

The Rising has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and helped me to become aware of the potential that I had within me. Today I can say that The Rising Foundation has helped me and equipped me with the right tools to get me where I am today and to be the person I have become.

Prior to joining The Rising Foundation, I was employed by Department of Corrections at the Men’s prison in Wiri. I just always wished I could do more to help rehabilitate the men back into society. So bringing my experience from the prison and sharing with students, will hopefully be an eye opener and a reminder to them that this place is real and this is where people go, when the wrong choices and decisions are made.

I just have this mind-set that if I can at least share what I know and what I’ve seen, this could influence change in our students thinking so it won’t be too late for them. It’s a privilege to be employed by The Rising Foundation and being a part of the students’ journeys. I am very blessed to be working alongside the amazing TRF team. Fa’afetai Lava.

 
 
 
 
 

Shani Apelu

I fully immersed myself in the TRF programme in my final year at Pukekohe High School in 2017, but I had always known about the programme since Year 9 as my friend regularly attended the programme.
There’s so many aspects to the programme, but what I’ve always appreciated is the unconditional love that the team gives to the students. There’s such a unique intimacy about the bonds that are created and despite coming from all different walks of life, for the moment you all share the same path. In that one year, I found myself growing through other TRF members and I treasure the many relationships that I made.
So now I get the privilege to walk along with so many others on their journeys and join with this amazing team. Everyone does their part and go beyond to make The Rising possible. I have so much to learn and I look forward to what lies ahead.

Contact Details

           

             shani@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 196 4367

 

Teranui Heta

Contact Details

           

             ted@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 534 5560

 I was born at Greenlane National Women Hospital Creche and grew up in Papakura, Otara and Mount Wellington.

I joined The Rising Foundation in 2011 during the re-branding period from Te Roopu Kakano to The Rising Foundation. At first, I was only a part of the program because my friends were in it, there was food available (Struggle was ultra-real back then…) and because they went on camps that were crazy cool until… I attended a camp at Nga Hau E Wha Marae in Pukekohe. This was probably the least exciting camp for anyone that attended it but for me this camp was a revelation camp because it exposed what kind of example I was for my niece that attended the camp and because of this revelation my attitude towards The Rising Foundation transformed from” just being with my friends and having food” to” Learning Quality and Key Principles for me to apply so that I may Unlock my full Potential” and be a Positive influence on my family, friends and the community around me.

 

Two things I am very grateful for that The Rising Foundation has equipped me with is:
1 - The Ability to Communicate Clearly!!!!! I am grateful for this because with ability to communicate I am capable of building quality relationships and continue to build these relationships to gain value from them and also instil value into others that I have built a relationship with.
2 – The opportunity to experience what life looks like outside of the reality of Auckland. Why I am grateful of this experience is because it exposed me to the bigger picture of what life could really be about and that is what helps us to “Unlocking Our Potential”.

 

If I can leave an encouragement for our families and students that are on the journey of being a value part of The Rising Foundation is along the same lines of what Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Program Coordinator Jarrahmal Tanielu said at a camp once “Knowledge without action is meaningless and action without knowledge is foolishness”

 

Bless You All!!!!!!

 

Wendy Savieti

Contact Details

           

             wendy@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 346 2860

My parents come from the beautiful Pacific Islands of Tonga and the Cook-Islands. I am the 4th eldest of 47 grandchildren from my Mother’s side and number 15 of 32 grandchildren on my Father’s side. Coming from such a massive family I realise the importance of planting seeds of influence and the positive effect we can have on our families.

Over the years, I believe the influence of The Rising Foundation has enriched me with strong principles of self-belief and empathy for others, which were cleverly reinforced by lots of challenging and fun activities. I have gained a great sense of self-awareness through my involvement with the programme. I am excited now to see how our young people move into the world of work having gained those qualities too. In my role, I’m most looking forward to watching our young students develop good driving skills in order to gain their drivers licence.

 

Maria Molina Tarrant

Contact Details

           

             maria@therisingfoundation.co.nz

           

             022 171 0090

I have lived in South Auckland my whole life going to Opaheke Primary and Intermediate School, then moving onto Rosehill College. During high school I participated in the school music band playing the Flute, and was fortunate enough to go on two tours, one to Singapore and Malaysia in Year 11, and to China in Year 13. At high school my main subjects were art related, and I particularly enjoyed photography.

I graduated from Rosehill College in 2015 and started studying at AUT, where I got a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts with a Major in Photography.

I became part of The Rising Foundation in April 2019 and joined the Pathways Employment team. I am currently running the Facebook and Instagram pages and delivering the Transition2 programme into our high schools. Although I only became part of TRF last year, I have been fortunate to visit some camps and participate in some activities over the last few years, getting to know the rest of the awesome staff and Programme Coordinators.

The Rising Foundation is an amazing programme, and I feel blessed to be able to see the awesome work first hand that goes on throughout the schools and community in South Auckland. Since my time working for TRF, I have been able to meet so many amazing young people, with many talents and beautiful personalities. I can see the value of every young person who is a part of TRF and I know they will all go far in life.