A word from Marlene


As the wider world, and our youth especially, becomes more and more focused on the screens in front of their faces, POET continues to work to get our young people out and about, engaging with their local environments.

With a reduction of schools in our programme this year (2017) as we focus solely on the Waikato region, numbers of students engaged has reduced slightly, to just under 2000. We are delighted to welcome two new POET schools in 2018. Fraser High School and Raglan Area School who will join Paeroa College and Hamilton Junior High School as our newest Waikato schools.

Financial sustainability is an ongoing issue for not for profit organisations, and POET is no different. This year we have made good strides in this area, with strong funding from The Lion Foundation, continued support from the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, three years of funding from Skills4Work, and great support from local Waikato businesses. Direct funding from Hamilton Orthodontics, Gallaghers, Brian Perry Civil, and Lodge Real Estate, combined with continued in-kind support from Kiwi Camping, Trek n Travel, Outfitters.  We are thrilled and proud to be associated with such community minded trusts and businesses.

Gemma returned from a 6-month sabbatical even more committed and passionate than before, it was great to see her return so invigorated. Welcome back Gemma, and thank her for her hard work.

Other highlights this year include Donald’s development in Gemma’s absence. Completing valuable industry qualifications and setting up new schools while maintaining high standards in our current schools was a real credit to Donald. Thanks for your hard work and dedication Donald.

Karen has led from the front as always, and an area where she has particularly shone is engagement through social media. We have a great story to tell, and Karen tells it so well. Thank you Karen.

A final thank you to our great bunch of outdoor enthusiasts on the POET board. To Mike, Craig, Neil, Rob and Emma thank you once more for the time that you give so freely, for your energy and enthusiasm, and for the wide range of skills you bring to POET.

We look forward to getting more young people outdoors and loving it in 2018.

Marlene Julian
POET Chairperson