Dean | Blueskin Bay, Otago

“When you’re talking about being proud, I think it goes back to my children. So, my oldest boy, who is a teenager has been scared of flying most of his life, but he’s had to travel all the time, to and fro, to visit his mum and family and he’s battled with it for a very long time but about six months ago, he told me that he wanted to be a pilot, which was a bit of a shock.

But through conversation, I understood that was his way of overcoming his fear, to be in charge of that process himself, and to actually learn to be a pilot, and learn to fly, and take it onboard himself. So that moment where I realised that he’d overcome his fear of his own fruition and his own learning, and his own thought process, that made me pretty proud. 

I think the learning is don’t underestimate people. Don’t underestimate the ability of people to solve their own problems, especially young people. I think we often feel we have to guide them through everything, and be there to help him, but I think sometimes giving them their own space to learn to make mistakes and learn from mistakes, have fears, have anxieties, but also learn to overcome them and build on their own strength and their own abilities – I think it reminded me that they’re a lot more capable than we sometimes probably think they are.

I grew up in Dunedin. Ōtepoti is my home. I’ve travelled around a bit. I’ve spent a long time in Whangārei and Northland. I have a Buddhist background, so I’ve kind of always been around and involved in businesses that are empathetic and fair, and so at the moment I work for Trade Aid. I’ve been involved with Trade Aid for over 20 years, because I believe that as well as supporting local people and our local communities, we can also support the global community, and that’s my way that I do that, is working through that organisation. I love Ōtepoti. I love Dunedin. I actually like the winter mornings. I like the chill, the waking up, the coffee on the deck, the looking out at the sea. It’s definitely home. 

What I value? I think honesty, fairness and kindness. I think probably this situation recently has taught us a lot about being kind, being aware that there’s people around us who might be feeling stressed or anxious or have different views to us but through kindness and through listening, and through caring, we can overcome those barriers, and help each other. Just being honest about who we are and how we feel and having those challenging conversations, which often open people up, break down barriers, and build a better, healthier society.”

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