06 Nov Westpac Waikato Not-for-Profit Business of the Year Award
What an absolute honour for RAW to be the recipient of the Westpac Waikato Business Awards Not for Profit Section 2017.
In 2013 when I set up my own foundation to advance work in the social space by applying new thinking to some of this country’s biggest challenges, I had a vision that we would get to the place where RAW women would succession into my role, so that they truly had impact on their trail of offending.
For twenty five years I have worked successfully in the fashion industry, driving profit for material again and social good. This has allowed me to set up my foundation, in which for the next twenty five years (God willing) I will tackle some of our biggest and most costly social issues.
RAW is the first initiative of this kind, and now three years into it, RAW has seen thirty six women and men (some of this country’s most advanced offenders) come to Hamilton to take part in the program, all with different levels of success, but most importantly, only one (in a demographic that was 100% likely to fail) has gone on to amplify her crime. All the others have de-escalated their criminal activity and many have made a complete change and embrace a life that is not just about jobs, study and safe housing, but about living a life they and their tamariki should have had access to, but by birth-right this was taken away.
Key to this change has been immersing myself in, and understanding new normals, not just overlaying my normal onto theirs. Among these women, who have been largely written off by the system and society, I have found some shining stars, some delightful surprises that are now making real and relevant contributions to get the social change we all wanted in this country. This award is a wonderful celebration of this success.