Voices for better

We’re wholeheartedly passionate about being a voice for a better world for women, children and animals, as well as other less advantaged New Zealanders. Read on to learn about many of the causes and issues we care deeply about.

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Young women being inspired by Pave Your Path programme
In partnership with Tupu Toa, the Foundation funded another two Pave Your Path workshops in 2023 to provide 60 Year 13 female tauira a day to hear from Tupu Toa alumni, guest speakers, see corporate offices and think about their futures. The messages all concerned the idea that #WāhineCanDoEverything!
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IYM graduate mentoring programme assisting females into STEMM careers
Through funding from the Gattung Foundation, Innovative Young Minds have in 2023 established their graduate mentoring programme for young wāhine who have taken part in either IYM Online or IYM Residential. 84% of the wāhine who have attended an IYM programme are now either studying or working in the STEMM sector.
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Paid Internship from Niche Media Ltd and the Pouwels Charitable Foundation
The Gattung Foundation is pleased to announce their support for the Scholarship, or Paid internship programme being introduced and managed by Niche Media Ltd and the Pouwels Charitable Foundation and is based in South East Auckland. The objective is to engage candidates from the Māori, Pacific and Asian communities, otherwise known as the CALD communities, (CALD = the Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) communities in Aotearoa. These CALD communities make up over 52% of Auckland’s population and just under 40% of the total NZ Population, (2018 Census). And their points of view and their stories are really vital in providing a balanced view of our diverse society and in developing messaging and marketing that resonates more effectively with Aotearoa’s current populace and our future workforce.
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Partnership with Mindful Fashion Announced for their Circular Design Award
There’s a collective desire for real, transformative change permeating the local fashion industry, and with circular solutions — innovations and systems that design out or repurpose potential waste — considered the future of fashion and gaining traction, it’s an exciting time. In recent years, we’ve seen local designers (many of whom benefit from the smaller scale and nimble operating common in the New Zealand market) repurposing textiles, incorporating recycling, and eliminating waste. Now, a new award will acknowledge and encourage achievements in circularity. Mindful Fashion, the non-profit industry organisation that advocates to support and improve the fashion sector in Aotearoa, has announced the launch of the Mindful Fashion Circular Design Award, in partnership with the Gattung Foundation.
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Kōhine relish STEMM challenge in programme run by Tōnui Collab
<strong>Programmes aim to encourage more women into world of technology</strong> Aiming to get more kōhine (young women) from Tairāwhiti interested in a career in technology is the goal of a robotics programme run by Tōnui Collab. Tōnui Collab runs a number of different programmes in Te Tairāwhiti to expose rangatahi to the diversity of STEMM — science, technology, engineering, maths, mātauranga Māori. In the past year about 2500 rangatahi have taken part in Tōnui Collab-led STEMM learning experiences. But director Shanon O’Connor has noticed more boys than girls are taking part in the school-based STEMM programmes.
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Paving the way to a career in Music Therapy
Introducing Sinead Hegarty, the 2023 recipient of the Gattung Foundation sponsored Master of Music Therapy Award in partnership with the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust and the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust. Sinead lives in the Hawkes Bay and is in her final year studying for a Master of Music Therapy degree at Victoria University. This scholarship comes with a monetary award of $8,000 and a minimum 750 hour placement with the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust. Sinead has chosen a highly important topic for her Masters research, based around how music therapy might be used to support community wellbeing during times of high stress and instability. We are thrilled to support Sinead’s journey towards a career in music therapy.
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Forging Futures in our old home town of Rotorua
Did you know that the Gattung girls went to McKillop College in Rotorua? A small, single sex Catholic girls' school raised four amazing wāhine! And now we are giving back to our community by partnering with the First Foundation to provide young women at John Paul College (McKillop and Edmund Rice were amalgamated in the 1980s) scholarships which will forge their futures. Our first student has been named and awarded a scholarship and we hope to enable many more wāhine into the future. Congratulations to Payton Liupuhi!
New ambulance for Waihī Hato Hone St John
The Waihī area received a new ambulance this week, thanks to a generous donation from the Gattung Foundation. The charitable organisation has assisted a wide range of good causes since it was founded in October 2022, including providing educational scholarships for wāhine Māori, supporting a women’s refuge, and vaccination clinics for dogs. However, donating a new Hato Hone St John ambulance was particularly personal for founders Angela and Theresa Gattung. The Gattung family has close links with the Waihī Beach area. “The donation of this ambulance is our way of giving back to the Waihī community following the support our whānau received during our dad’s illness,” Angela said.
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Kura Māori empowering next generation of engineers in Tairāwhiti
Breaking cycles and empowering the next generation is the kaupapa for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori O Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti on the far East Coast of Tairāwhiti. The area school is paving a way forward for promising engineers through its STEM work, currently engaging over 70 ākonga in robotics – and with national success.  Zoey Henderson leads the kura robotics programme and has witnessed significant strides among students from Years 1 to 13 since the subject was introduced five years ago.   “The children start out in Year 1 and start to develop the skills in terms of coding as they progress,” she explains. “Once they are in their senior school years, they then start to move into construction and get to test their robots out in an arena setting.”  Last year, a cohort of girls from the te reo Māori immersion kura travelled to Wellington to compete in the VEX Robotics National Championships.   “Our focus last year was to develop our girls’ robotics skills as often it is our boys that dominate in this field,” says Zoey.   She says the kura was thankful for sponsorship from The Gattung Foundation – a charitable organisation established in 2022 to help address inequalities for girls and women across Aotearoa.  
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Angela becomes a CanBead Ambassador!
The CanInspire Charitable Trust has been supporting people with illness, trauma and loss since 2010. It serves communities by having CanBead workshops available, inspiring thousands of people.Each workshop has a strong social focus, and participants are encouraged to share ideas and interact together while working on their designs. They are also a wonderful distraction and an excellent way to make new friends in similar situations.
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We need to rethink how to reduce food waste and food insecurity in NZ
With the latest Statistics NZ Food Price Index figures showing the biggest rise in more than 30 years and the demand for support at an all-time high, now is the time to rethink how we reduce food waste and food insecurity across New Zealand. Despite Aotearoa New Zealand producing enough food to feed 40 million, people at home are going hungry. Almost 40% of adults and 19% of children don’t have enough food, and 58% of the lowest-income families can’t access fruit and veggies – trends which show no sign of slowing. Being involved in philanthropy for eight years has enabled me to see just how many people in this country experience food insecurity and go hungry. This is a problem Kiwis have long experienced, but something that has increased significantly post-Covid and continues now with the cost-of-living crisis.
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Movers and Shapers: Angela Gattung and the robotics classes
Angela Gattung calls herself “chief explorer”. With sister Theresa, the entrepreneurs last year launched The Gattung Foundation, a charity focusing on reducing inequality, particularly for women, girls, Māori and Pasifika. Theresa is the well-known former chief of Telecom, and a high profile philanthropist. Angela, the foundation’s executive director, has an education and charity background. Both are committed to equal opportunities.
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Kōhine Robotics Teams Attend the Vex IQ Nationals
A little school in a remote part of the East Coast is making big waves in the world of Vex Robotics.  Earlier this year, the Foundation supported Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti start two girls' robotics teams by providing the putea to purchase resources and travel to competitions.
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Gifts for Calming Relaxation
We were delighted to receive many messages of kindness and support in the days that followed the media of our official launch. One of these was from a woman named Leann Schlepers, who is the owner of a small business called Grown Naturally 4 You, found at grownnaturally4you@gmail.com.
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Wear Kindness Campaign
The Kindness Collective’s Christmas Joy Store is New Zealand’s first social toy store where referred parents and caregivers can choose gifts and treats for their children that they know they’ll love, off the shelves, shopping for free. The Joy Store provides families with the gift of kindness and dignity of choice, which everyone deserves.
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Animals are dear to the hearts of all three Foundation trustees. Over the years, family pets have included Mickey and Minnie (cats), Ren and Stimpy (cats), Urchin, Palin, Ollie and Archie (cats), Pipi (dog), Heathcliff and Rocky (cats) and Max and Shelby (dogs). So, supporting charity partners that care, protect and prevent cruelty to animals, who shelter, rehome and rehabilitate pets, is one of our priorities. One of these partners is the SPCA. Early in the year, Angela met with the then CEO, Andrea Midgen, and they discussed the most pressing issues being faced by the organisation.
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Fashion Sister
Fashion Sister is a Gattung Foundation initiative designed to empower women through access to affordable new and pre-loved designer clothing. Our mission is to democratise fashion so that more women can overcome the barriers to accessing fashion and enjoy an opportunity to look fabulous and feel more confident. Addressing female inequality has always been important to us and this is a way that ‘sisters can support sisters’ in a wonderful and practical way.
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Towel Drive
On a recent visit to Woven Earth, Angela heard from founder, Kerryn Thrupp, that her greatest need is new towels and this generated the idea of a Towel Drive. Angela connected with her niece, Kayla Gattung, and the idea came to life.