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Stratford Press - 2021-06-09

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Tu¯ taki team travel to share their knowledge

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Staff and board members from Stratford-based Tu¯ taki hit the road last month, travelling to Tauranga to share their learning. Nine members of the team from the not-for-profit youth social services organisation were invited to share their experience at the Tonic Conference in Tauranga. The theme of the conference for community and not-for-profit organisations was Stronger Together: Connection Collaboration Diversity, says conference organiser Megan Thorn. She says the presentation by the Tu¯taki team was incredibly moving as well as informative, saying there were tears on stage and in the audience as Tu¯taki chairwoman Marcia Millard shared the organisation’s story. “Once she got on stage she quickly lost a bet that her passion for the team and the difference they are making in the Stratford community would not overflow through her eyes.” Megan says conference attendees heard from all of the Tu¯taki staff present. “Everyone was engaged, there were lots of practical ideas and lessons for people to take away and think about how they might help with their own organisations, there was lots of laughter and people were buzzing with energy as they walked out of the room.” Tu¯taki general manager Nelson Pulotu says it was an honour to speak at the conference with each team member speaking about their own area of responsibility and passion. “Operations manager Kim Marsh talked about the number of people who have been positively impacted by the organisation. Sergeant Simon Howard spoke about our beginning and the benefits of working with the local community, funders and the local council. Fitness Service Supervisor Dane Carr shared a video tour of the Tu¯ taki facility and then spoke about the services on offer with the Lions Den Gym and Fitness Centre.” Nelson himself spoke about the importance of relationships, collaboration and celebrating diversity in the workplace. “It’s about ensuring that you stay connected and listened to your community. My final point was the importance of people and to be brave when you provide the voice for those who struggle or don’t have one.” Nelson says the highlight of the weekend is knowing others were inspired by Tu¯taki’s work, saying Marcia has already received positive feedback from other conference participants. “I think what was most pleasing was hearing how inspirational we had been to others.”

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