Organisations we support

The Imaginarium

Auckland Museum

Te Whiwhinga, The Imaginarium opened 5 June 2021 and is the final stage of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira’s visitor transformation that provides a new dedicated education space for formal learners aged 7-12 and an orientation to the Museum’s collections.

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As well as education group bookings, these new galleries are open to everyone to explore and enjoy. “The kaupapa for this new development is that learning through play, exploration and discovery helps build knowledge in young people in a more effective and sustained way” says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The values and purpose of the Joyce Fisher Trust are strongly aligned with the ambitions of the Te Whiwhinga The Imaginarium, designed to provide outstanding education opportunities for our children and whanau, and access to our Taonga for all. The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has generously supported the Learning Base, which is the orientation space of the Imaginarium, to realise the shared vision of providing outstanding learning experiences and engagement for our Auckland tamariki.

The Joyce Fisher Learning Base features unique collections and stories for school groups to experience as they meet with the Museum’s Learning Specialists. Four large ‘hero cases’ deliver a wow-factor, showcasing objects that connect the themes of whakapapa (family), korero (story), ahu-tanga (features) and wahi (place). This entrée to the Museum cultivates both curiosity and understanding, opening young minds to science and matauranga Maori. Within the Learning Base are the new Learning Labs – adaptable spaces with digital technologies that allow for immersive learning experiences, together with wet activity spaces to allow for science-based programmes for ages 5-12 years old.

Stephen Lethbridge, Auckland Primary Principals’ Association (APPA) President, says “Auckland schools are fortunate to have an amazing learning resource in the Auckland Museum. The Imaginarium galleries are another wonderful resource that all our schools can utilise to provide rich learning opportunities for their students.”

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Barnardos shapes brighter futures together with children and families in Aotearoa. We work with them to build nurturing relationships and resilient homes and communities, so that children reach their full potential. Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust is a key funder of Te Korowai Mokopuna, a programme based in South Auckland which is built on the combined strengths of Barnardos teachers and social workers.

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Te Korowai Mokopuna is an innovative way of supporting some of Aotearoa’s most at risk families. Kaimanaaki Whanau Workers are based at whanau rooms in Barnardos Early Centres in Otara, Mangere, Clendon and Manurewa in South Auckland. They informally identify families with young children and support their varied needs in areas of high deprivation where too many families are struggling with poverty. Some experience more serious issues like violence, mental illness or drug and alcohol addictions. Te Korowai Mokopuna has fostered a sense of community that stems from our early learning centres.

Lady Fisher was a long-time supporter of the work of Barnardos and of our Clendon Early Learning Centre. The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust continues to provide significant support for this unique programme to continue our mahi, supporting hundreds of families like Lisa’s. 

Lisa walks her two grandchildren to the Early Learning Centre most days. Every so often she stops to have a coffee and chat with Tui, the Kaimaanaki Whanau Worker at the Centre. She knows that Tui is not just a good listener, but is there to support families who need some help. Lisa – didn’t think that included her family. Until one morning, she was so feeling overwhelmed and tired of holding the family together on her own, she opened up about the stresses and worries her family were under.

She talked about how chaotic the house felt. It’s got four bedroom, but there were ten of them living there. Lisa and her husband, their four teenage children (two boys, two girls) and their 22 year old son, his wife and the two grandchildren. 

Even with four of them working, money was tight. The family didn’t have the money to fix their one car which is why she walked her mokopuna to the centre. But it wasn’t really their financial situation she was most worried about. It was her children and grandchildren. 

A few months ago, there was a suicide in the wider whanau that had really shaken the family. The whanau member was a young adult, who had been a rebellious teen, but seemed to have turned her life around. Looking back, Lisa could see things they’d missed, patterns of behaviour. Patterns she thought she could see in her 15 year old son. 

Her 14 year old daughter was really influenced by her friends and was starting to play up. It was particularly worrying because her second boy, now 17 was the same. About the same age he become friends with the wrong crowd, started turning up at school drunk or stoned. It had been pretty rough for a while and he’d dropped out.  

Lisa admitted that when her children were younger, she wasn’t always the mother she should have been. But now she wanted to be there for her grandchildren, and make sure their father doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But she wasn’t sure she was doing it right because the 4 year old boy talks back and won’t listen to her or his parents. 

Lisa felt lighter for having unloaded her worries. She’d been brought up not to complain, not to share the family business with strangers. But Tui doesn’t feel like a stranger and there were some concrete ways she could help. 

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The support of The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has allowed Epsom Girls Grammar School to provide world-class facilities for the growth of arts and sport in the school and in the community. These areas are regarded as essential for the broad development of students’ key competencies and leadership skills which complement their academic achievement.

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The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has supported the Old Girls Archives, the Lady Fisher Auditorium, a professional venue for the Arts in the school and more recently the new state-of-the-art Joyce Fisher Sports Centre. It is a legacy that enriches the lives of all the students who pass through the gates of Epsom Girls Grammar School.

The Lady Fisher Auditorium provides a professional venue for the Arts in the school. Students have the pleasure of performing on the stage or of being in the audience for the many wonderful productions which are performed there. The Music and Drama departments are enriched by the opportunities provided by this facility and they have produced many students who have chosen to continue their studies in these areas.

Epsom Girls Grammar School puts a high focus on a broad education which includes physical education and health as a compulsory subject up until year 12. The newly completed Joyce Fisher Sports Centre has provided a wonderful venue for all students to develop new skills in these programmes and to perform at even higher levels in their sporting codes. This world-class facility has redressed an historical disadvantage for the school as girls’ schools were never funded as generously for gymnasiums as boys’. The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has allowed the school to give girls’ sport and exercise the profile that it deserves.

Both of these venues benefit the community by providing facilities for musical and dramatic performances and for practice and competition in a variety of sporting codes. The Northern Mystics and other high profile netball teams have valued the facilities which the Sports Centre provides in such a central position in the city and badminton, futsal and ultimate frisbee are played there regularly by players of all ages.

The support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has allowed Epsom Girls Grammar School to provide world-class facilities for the growth of arts and sport in the school and in the community. These areas are regarded as essential for the broad development of students’ key competencies and leadership skills which complement their academic achievement. They are essential in the development of the strong, confident, caring, life-long learners described in the vision of the school.

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Graeme Dingle Foundation

The Graeme Dingle Foundation has a mission of empowering young people to overcome life’s obstacles.

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has been a major supporter of the Foundation’s Kiwi Can Programme working with primary and intermediate school students.

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Kiwi Can – Kiwi Kaha

Kiwi Can is a Graeme Dingle Foundation programme that provides life skills and values lessons to primary and intermediate students aged 5-12 years old.  The programme uses a multiple systems approach to provide opportunities for personal growth. Kiwi Can modules integrate both prevention of anti-social behaviours and promotion of age appropriate emotional, cognitive and moral development. Students can acquire and practice these skills in a supportive environment with their peers. In alignment with our organisations purpose Kiwi Can gives children the tools they need to conquer life’s obstacles and succeed.  

Delivered weekly to the whole school by trained Kiwi Can leaders it sets a solid foundation that students take with them through school and into later life. Each week Kiwi Can provides a positive, uplifting environment that encourages self-belief, confidence and builds resilience. Class lessons are approximately forty minutes and deliver topics such as integrity, accountability, cooperation, respect, perseverance and problem solving in an energy packed fun filled format. 

Accompanying the weekly lessons each year Kiwi Can students in each school collaborate on an annual Community Project. This initiative is led by the young people who take ownership and work with the support of Kiwi Can leaders and their school to make a positive difference in their local area. 

Why Kiwi Can – Kiwi Kaha? 

Effective programmes are strengths based, recognise protective factors and are grounded by reliable research. The Kiwi Can programme follows the principles of Positive Youth Development theory, which emphasise a best practice approach in the sector. In addition, modules inherently link to the Government’s Child Wellbeing Strategy. Kiwi Can encourages positive attributes and builds upon on the strengths of our young Kiwis. Lessons emphasise protective factors such as whanau connectedness, positive relationships, and emotional competence so that our rangatahi can successfully work through adversity.

Over ten years of evaluation has refined the programme and demonstrated that Kiwi Can works in partnership with schools to help create an environment where no child is left behind. Kiwi Can has undergone internal and external evaluation showing it is particularly effective at building positive behaviour and attitude. Students use strategies taught in lessons to take responsibility for their actions, show integrity, resolve conflict, achieve goals, understand emotions and positively communicate. Through whole school delivery these skills can have a ripple effect beyond the classroom to enhance school culture and community relationships.  

Every child deserves to the chance to thrive, feel they belong and contribute meaningfully in their life. Graeme Dingle Foundation programmes empower young people by nurturing their self-belief to overcome challenges and develop resilience. Our countries future parents, leaders and citizens are currently attending primary school, if we want to build a better Aotearoa for generations to come, this is where we start.

Feedback from schools

Kiwi Can is extremely important and worth the time and effort that both our school and Kiwi Can invest into our school. Our children thoroughly enjoy Kiwi Can, they find it exciting, useful and educational, presented in a fun but targeted set of lessons. A special part of Kiwi Can is also using leaders from within our community who can relate to the struggles and background of our children. This brings empathy for our children and our desire to support their growth and successes as students of our school who will become our future leaders and citizens of our community. We’d like to thank the Joyce Fisher Foundation for their ongoing support of Kiwi Can. Stan Whata, Koru School Principal

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The Halberg Foundation is a charitable organisation founded in 1963 by Olympic legend, Sir Murray Halberg (ONZ) on the belief that all people, regardless of their ability, should have equal opportunity to enhance their lives through sport and recreation. 

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The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has been a major supporter of the Halberg Foundation since 2013 providing essential funding to support Halberg’s important programmes to assist in enhancing the lives of physically disabled New Zealanders by enabling them to participate in sport and recreation.

The Halberg team of regional Halberg Advisers work throughout New Zealand. These dedicated and expert staff work with physically disabled young people and their families to assist them to become active and involved in sports and recreation. They also collaborate with schools, local sport and recreation organisations, facilities and clubs to raise awareness and capability for the provision of inclusive sports programmes and events.

The Advisers deliver Halberg Inclusion Training – a course on adapting physical activity to include all New Zealanders in mainstream activities, events and programmes.  The aim of the course is to increase knowledge and skills of teachers and sport deliverers to give them the confidence and resources to deliver quality sporting opportunities to all.

In 2019/2020 The Joyce Fisher Foundation supports the delivery of the Halberg Inclusion Training across Auckland and Northland and provides valuable ‘leave behind’ disability sports equipment that schools can use to provide ongoing sports and games for all children.

The Halberg Games is a national, three day sports competition for physically disabled and vision impaired young people aged eight – 21 years. Halberg hosts the sports festival which give the attendees the opportunity to compete against other young people with similar impairments and pursue further sports goals.  The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust – Spirit of the Games (female) trophy is presented to the Halberg Games female athlete who best captures the spirit of the event and embodies the following traits: helpfulness, leadership, kindness, resilience, hard work, innovative, winning attitude, positivity, or vibrant character.

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Live Ocean Foundation

Live Ocean Foundation works alongside exceptional New Zealand marine scientists, innovators and communicators to scale up action for a healthy ocean.

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has enabled hugely valuable support for vital projects which will improve understanding of the marine realm and help inform decision making.

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The Southern Right Whale

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has provided vital support for the public outreach element of southern right whale research voyage to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, led by Dr Emma Carroll and team at the University of Auckland.

During this voyage, photographer Richard Robinson and Arie Spyksma from New Zealand Geographic captured 360 degree virtual reality footage to connect people with the southern right whale through an immersive experience. This footage is now being used as an interactive learning tool in BLAKE’s VR school programme as a central part of their marine mammal lesson plan.


Seascape is a public access geospatial marine modelling project produced by New Zealand Geographic with funding from Live Ocean Foundation and the Joyce Fisher Trust.

Seascape technology allows access to high resolution, photo-realistic, three dimensional seafloor maps, hundreds of metres in area. These maps can be shared with international researchers, allowing them to understand the modelled underwater environment like they were there. Images can be used as baselines for other key scientific questions in the future, as well as a public education tool.

“Our hope is that this insight leads better decision making, more robust science, and a public more engaged in the fate of the marine space” says James Frankham – New Zealand Geographic.

Project Kahurangi

Project Kahurangi is the first marine conservation visual library in Aotearoa, containing over 1,200 images and videos of New Zealand’s unique marine environment. Often the issues facing the ocean are hidden below the waterline, this library aims to bring it to the surface by providing compelling resources to connect people with the moana.

Through the Joyce Fisher Trust’s generous support, Project Kahurangi is available and free to use by all non-profit groups, educational institutions, Iwi/Hapu and Whanau Kaitiaki who require imagery for non-commercial ocean conservation use.

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The NZSAS Trust was created in 2004 to support serving and former members of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment (NZSAS) and their dependents. This includes those families and dependents whose partners have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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The Trust provides welfare and emergency support to individuals and families in need, and helps connect them to other agencies as needed. We fund personal development initiatives, including Outward Bound and Spirit of Adventure courses, and provide numerous scholarships and grants to those undertaking tertiary or trade study. In addition we also provide considerable funding for welfare initiatives aimed at strengthening relationships and increasing resilience within the Special Forces Community including the Toa Whanau and Arotautanga programmes. 

The women and men of the NZSAS Regiment train and work extremely hard to be able to do what they do, and the demands and pressures on both individuals and families can be significant. The NZSAS Trust, through donor support, works to relieve some of that stress and support them and their families through the provision of a range of services and funding. This support comes in a number of different forms including: 

Tertiary and trade scholarships

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust (JFCT) has been a tremendous supporter of the NZSAS Trust scholarship programme. As a result of JFCT’s very generous support we have been able to triple the number of scholarship awards we make each year as well as commit to multi-year awards to provide certainty to our beneficiaries. Whether the student is a soldier, veteran, partner or child, each is very grateful to receive financial assistance for their studies. The NZSAS Trust, with the support of the JFCT and other donors, has been able to award almost $500,000 in tertiary grants and scholarships since its inception in 2004.

Welfare and emergency grants

Life often throws a curveball right when you least expect it, and military families are no exception. We receive applications for a wide range of emergency and general welfare support, and have awarded several hundred thousand dollars in welfare support over the past 17 years. We could not do this without the aid of our donors and JFCT who have been stalwart supporters of the Trust for many years.

Outward Bound and Spirit of Adventure

Providing support and encouragement to our youth through these programmes has been a game changer for every participant. They come back enthused, motivated and well equipped to continue their journey into adulthood. We are also able to support youth representing NZ on an international stage, whether it be through school or sport.

Medical needs

Some of our families experience medical challenges that require resources over and above those available through the NZ Public Health system. All have been life changing for the individuals involved. Examples include:

  • The young son of a former soldier had a serious medical event as a toddler. His parents struggled to find the help he needed through the public hospital system. The NZSAS Trust was able to connect them with a specialist who  provided the family with the advice and direction they needed to improve his quality of life and move forward with confidence in his therapy needs.
  • Another veteran sought Trust funding for an essential medical device that would help his daughter’s condition. The Trust was able to provide funding for this life saving piece of equipment.
  • We were recently able to assist a veteran who needed surgery to relieve a very painful condition that was severely impacting his quality of life yet had a six month plus waiting list in the public system. As a result he was able to return to work and maintain his independence.
  • On a number of occasions we have been able to use the Trustees extensive networks to connect families with medical experts to facilitate positive outcomes for their loved ones. 

Community projects

Whilst the NZ Defence Force provides basic facilities for our soldiers there are a number of projects that are beyond the reach of the public budget that nevertheless make a significant difference to our soldiers and their families wellbeing. The JFCT has supported the Trust with a number of these projects over the years including the building and landscaping of a Memorial area and helping fund our community facility.

The NZSAS Trustees and beneficiaries are hugely appreciative of the ongoing support that the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust provides. We greatly value our partnership and the difference it makes in the lives of our SF Community.

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Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust

The Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust, established in 2004 by singer Hinewehi Mohi, enables wellbeing, empowerment and joy through music therapy, using music to promote the healing and personal growth of people with identified intellectual, physical, social or mental health challenges.

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Raukatauri’s 12 Registered Music Therapists root their clinical practice in the humanistic model of music therapy, which recognizes each individual’s uniqueness and worth. Our mission is to offer a quality, accessible music therapy service to all people, whatever their needs. Our vision is to enrich and develop lives through music.

Now in our 17th year, we continue to operate New Zealand’s only music therapy centres. Services are managed and delivered through the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre in Grafton, a beautiful new facility which opened to clients on 2 June 2020. As demand for music therapy services has grown, the Trust has expanded across Auckland and currently operates five satellites in the region as well as delivering outreach programmes in partnership with over 20 schools and organisations, allowing children and adults to receive music therapy directly in their classrooms, group homes, hospital rooms and rehabilitation units. These outreach programmes are run in collaboration with organisations such as Starship, Central Auckland Specialist School and The Selwyn Foundation. In June 2018, we launched our first Regional Centre in Hawke’s Bay, followed by the opening of the Northland Regional Centre in March 2019.  

We work with approximately 500 clients per week, ranging in age from two to 98 years old. Our clients have a range of special needs, including cerebral palsy, autism spectrum and other developmental disorders, genetic disorders such as down syndrome, complex medical conditions, traumatic brain injuries, mental health disorders, bereavement, dementia, exposure to family violence and neglect, and poor community engagement due to socioeconomic challenges. Due to their physical, cognitive and behavioural challenges, the vast majority of our clients cannot participate in community activities such as sport, music lessons, drama and art. Music therapy provides them with the chance to express themselves, develop independence, engage with their community, and develop meaningful relationships. Furthermore, the benefits of the work we do positively impact our clients’ whanau and the wider communities in which they live.

Raukatauri’s commitment to the well-being of each clients’ whanau was never more apparent than in the Trust’s immediate and thorough response to Covid-19. As soon as the move to Level 3 was announced we began planning our on-line service provision and had our digital services fully operating on 1 April. During the lockdown period we provided approximately 220 completely free therapeutic music sessions to over 200 families via our Raukatauri QuaranTunes programme, we continued to provide individual and group music therapy sessions via Zoom to almost 120 clients each week and distributed individualised session videos to over 150 clients via our outreach programmes. At a particularly difficult and challenging time for the families who we serve, Raukatauri brought normalcy, stimulation and aroha directly to their homes, and continued to change lives through music.

These life-changing services would not be possible without the generous and consistent support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust who each year support the salary of one of our amazing Registered Music Therapists.

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Saint Kentigern has a long and proud history of excellence in education. Its mission is to provide education which inspires students to strive for excellence in all areas of life for the glory of God and the service of others alongside a vision of developing graduates who will serve and lead with distinction.

In 2012 the four new full scholarships were established to be awarded to Maori and Pasifika students who display leadership potential with the hope that recipients will be able to give back to their communities.

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A world of opportunities

Saint Kentigern has a long and proud history of excellence in education. Originally established in 1953 to provide education for boys based on the precepts of the Presbyterian Church, the College in Pakuranga, followed six years later by the Boys’ School in Remuera, quickly confirmed their place amongst the best independent schools in New Zealand.

The introduction of girls to the College campus in 2003 marked the start of a new era for Saint Kentigern and a new educational model. In more recent years, the merger with the Corran Trust Board in 2009 saw Saint Kentigern open an all girls’ primary school in Remuera as a sister school to the long established all boys’ primary school. As a natural extension, a Preschool for boys and girls was opened in 2010 on the Girls’ School campus completing the educational pathway for Saint Kentigern families.

Over the course of 62 years, the Saint Kentigern community has remained deeply respectful of its heritage, staying true to its founding Christian principles and Scottish heritage. In 2012 a framework for the future 2012–2016 was formed to unify the schools with a shared vision, mission, and values.

Mission statement

‘The Mission of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board is to provide education which inspires students to strive for excellence in all areas of life for the glory of God and the service of others.’


‘Our graduates will serve and lead with distinction.’


Respect, integrity, service, excellence and love.

Saint Kentigern in partnership with the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust

In 2012 the Saint Kentigern Trust Board was delighted to announce the establishment of four new full scholarships available at the Year 7 level. They were established at the suggestion of, and with the cooperation of, the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust. The new scholarships are awarded annually for Year 7 students; two at Saint Kentigern Boys’ School and two at Saint Kentigern Girls’ School. These scholarships are awarded to Maori and Pacifika students who display outstanding leadership potential while having all round ability. Particular interest is focussed on candidates who will benefit from the opportunities on offer at Saint Kentigern. In turn it is hoped that the recipients will be able to give back to their communities. Unlike other scholarships available for students to attend Saint Kentigern, families cannot apply for a Joyce Fisher Scholarship. Candidates are recommended by the principal of their current primary school.

In keeping with Lady Fisher’s legacy and mission statement, ‘to make New Zealand a better place by providing young New Zealanders with opportunities that enhance their leadership skills and values, creating community, role models and future leaders’, the Trust’s commitment is to identify and develop future leaders, offering opportunities that their families might not otherwise afford.

Following the success of the programme to date the Joyce Fisher Trustees are keen to ensure that the benefits of the scholarship are not lost to highly successful candidates at the end of the two year period of their intermediate education. Scholarships may be made available to such candidates for their ongoing secondary education.

From the inaugural recipient of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust scholarship in 2012 there are currently eight students attending the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools with five students attending the College having successfully completed their intermediate years. All students have responded well to the opportunities on offer excelling in all areas of school life by making the most of the opportunities available. Leadership has certainly been evident with many of the scholarship students being appointed as prefects of the schools or seniors in the various groups available.

The initiative, philanthropy and support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust cannot be underestimated. Their vision and commitment to education is making a difference in the lives of both the selected students and our Saint Kentigern community. We are indeed blessed to be a part of this programme.

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The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Auckland Incorporated is one of Auckland’s oldest charities celebrating over 130 years of service to the animals of Auckland.

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The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust assists SPCA inspectors in their enforcement role in bringing animal abusers to justice, to pay for medical equipment and remedies for our animal hospital at the animal village, providing funding for the rehabilitation and eventual re-homing of animals in need, and supporting our educational activities which are so vital in the prevention of cruelty to animals.

The Society is unique in that it relies entirely on donations which come in many forms from the people of Auckland who have generously supported us over our many years of existence. Individual donations, generous estates and grants from various Trusts have ensured we can continue in the wide variety of work we undertake.

Without these generous grants from the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust many of these activities would be difficult to undertake for lack of funding, and for this reason we value very highly the support we have received over so many years from the Trust.

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Each year the lives of more than 1,400 young New Zealand trainees are transformed aboard the tall-ship Spirit of New Zealand, developing them into future leaders and strong contributors to their communities.

The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has contributed to the ship’s mid-life refurbishment. It further helps by providing funds annually to assist those families facing financial hardship, to attend the 10-day youth development voyage.

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Over the last few years, the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has generously donated annually which was put towards the ship’s mid-life refurbishment. This significant financial contribution has ensured the ship continues to be set-up in a first class condition, allowing the Spirit’s youth development programmes to be delivered for years to come. Spirit of New Zealand is now over 25 years old, yet her condition looks as good as if she were built today.

This funding support towards the ships upkeep is vital, as the main voyage fee charged to youth who attend is kept to a manageable level. This ensures many New Zealand youth can afford to participate, thus annually the Trust needs to find over and above the voyage income of up to an additional $1.3 million dollars to keep the ship functioning now and into the future.

Despite keeping the voyage fee as low as possible, there are still some who find this a challenge. Again the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust helps by providing funds annually to assist those families facing financial hardship, to attend the 10-day youth development voyage. By enlarge, every voyage will have at least one or two youth on board who have received either a subsidy or grant towards their voyage fee, from the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust and who would have otherwise not been able to attend.

These young New Zealanders benefit hugely as it takes them into an environment which allows them to grow and realise that they can achieve far more than what they would otherwise dreamed.

The feedback from those who are sponsored bear testimony to the benefits of the Spirit programmes. Supporting university research shows the important benefit our young New Zealanders receive by participating in these once-in-a-lifetime voyages.

Trainee letters of thanks

Dear Spirit,

Thank you sooooo much for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was truly amazing and are some of the best days of my life. I am still amazed that I got to do this amazing trip. It is a truly amazing boat and an even better experience. To sail such a ship and live the dream is just so amazing.

Words cannot express how amazingly awesome this experience is. I don’t know what to say. Without you I would never have been able to do something as amazing as this.

Tonight is my last night on the ship and all I want to do is go back and do it all over again. I hope that I can come back as a Leading Hand and help other young teens like me to achieve great things and prepare them for life.

Thank you!
Jack, Trainee 2014

Dear Sponsor,

I would like to say a huge thank you for donating money to go towards my experience on the Spirit of New Zealand. Without this extra help I would have struggled to pay the amount to come on this voyage.

Coming on the Spirit of New Zealand is an extremely wonderful experience. One that I will never forget. It has helped me grow as a person and to understand people in different ways. The Spirit teaches you to be patient, willing to learn, have a better understanding of life, and that everyone is unique in their own way and to respect that about them.

The time I spent on the Spirit has enabled and allowed me to have many different opportunities. I took part in activities like sailing small boats, the yard swing, tramping, knot tying and the Spirit mini olympics. The best opportunity on this ship was making new amazing friends. Laura and Josh are only two of the other trainees that I have become good friends with. These great friends and friendships means that the voyage is more fun.

One the best activities that I enjoyed was the mast climb. The midship of the Spirit has four yards, containing four sails. Highest is called the royal, followed by the topgallant, yopsail and lastly, the course. On several occasions I was able to climb onto the royal and help pack it away. This was an amazing experience as I loved the view and the height. It only got slightly scary when we had 2m swells causing the boat to rock.

I am so grateful for the money that was donated to help me on the Spirit of New Zealand. My voyage has given me many new outlooks on life and many new friends.

Thank you so much for this experience.
Ashleigh, Trainee 2014

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The Springboard Trust (SBT) works in New Zealand’s education sector to improve student outcomes by assisting educational leaders and their communities grow in strategic, structured and scalable ways. Its efforts stem from the fundamental premise that more effective, strategic leadership will generate improved schools and student outcomes.

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Through the work of the Springboard Trust many principals have developed clearer strategic visions, goals and plans for their organisations in areas including planning, resource allocation, staff engagement, and stakeholder management.

Thanks to its roots in the business community, SBT is able to connect and draw on a multitude of resources in order to focus on the essence of its model – ‘investing in frontline leadership’ – delivering a suite of programmes that leverage, adapt and share best practices across sectors. To do this SBT works via capacity building and strategic partnerships within New Zealand’s corporate and philanthropic sectors.

As Lorraine Mentz, Executive Director of SBT commented: “JFCT are highly valued, aligned ‘strategic partners’ and have invested in SBT since 2012. Their interest and engagement in our programmes together with their foresight and thought leadership has assisted us to not only deepen our programme delivery, but also scale into Northland. Their multi-year investment in our work is critical and enables us to deliver exceptional results!”

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The Hearing House, a children’s charity based in Auckland provides services to profoundly deaf children in the upper half of the North Island. Its Tele CHAT service, funded by the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust provides therapy to families unable to make the journey to Auckland. Caregivers receive specialised auditory-verbal therapy via Skype each week to expand a child’s vocabulary to the point where they might enter school with age-appropriate language.

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Rome’s remarkable journey

Rome would be unable to speak without the support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust.
Now five and attending his local primary school in Taumarunui, Rome may be profoundly deaf but many people would have no idea of that given that he can hear with his cochlear implants and can speak due to therapy he received via The Hearing House and funded by the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust.

Born in October 2009, Rome’s mother Sarah and father Mike first started to become worried that he couldn’t hear well when a door might slam at their National Park home and Rome would not react. At the age of four months he was diagnosed as profoundly deaf by an audiologist at Waikato Hospital.

“I wasn’t sure how to react,” says Sarah. “I felt empty to start with, and then started to think about the future. I knew we weren’t doomed and thank God his disability was not life threatening, but I’m sure every parent wants the best quality of life for their child.”
Shortly afterwards Rome received cochlear implants, the first funded by Government and the second as a result of fundraising by his family. He started to cry when the cochlear implants were switch on because he had never heard anything before. “Then he cried some more because he could hear himself.”

But the switch-on is only the first step in a deaf child with a cochlear implant being able to hear. In order to learn to speak they need a minimum of three years’ auditory-verbal therapy in order to learn how to interpret those sounds as language and then to develop a normal spoken vocabulary.

Since switch-on Rome has received audiology and therapy from The Hearing House, a children’s charity based in Auckland that provides services to profoundly deaf children in the upper half of the North Island. He was the first child on its Tele CHAT service, which provides therapy to families unable to make the journey to Auckland each week and which the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust has funded. It allowed Rome’s mum Sarah to receive specialised auditory-verbal therapy via Skype each week and to expand Rome’s vocabulary to the point where he started school in October 2014 with age-appropriate language.

Lady Joyce Fisher was a significant supporter of The Hearing House during her lifetime when she made regular donations from her charitable trust and also visited its premises in Greenlane and, since her death in 2009, her charitable trust has continued to assist The Hearing House and by doing so has transformed the lives of hundreds of deaf children just like Rome.

For parents like Sarah and Mike, that generosity means their son will grow up able to fully participate in the hearing world – he can listen to music, converse with his grandparents on the phone and chat to his friends and their wider family. “It is a long process, but as they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in day’,” Sarah says. “In our eyes he has the best quality of life now and it’s reassuring to know he will grow up with the world as his oyster and can do anything!”

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Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary and one of New Zealand's most renown and exciting conservation projects. Located just 30 kilometres northeast of Auckland city, this 220-hectare island had been stripped of 94% of its native bush but between 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees.

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In conjunction with this planting programme, all mammalian predators were eradicated, and many endangered birds and reptiles have been successfully introduced. These include the flightless takahe, the North Island kokako and the tuatara. There are few places in New Zealand where you can readily see and walk amongst so many rare species.

Educating young people on the value of protecting our endangered wildlife is at the core of what we do. Our vision is for every school in the Auckland area to have the opportunity to visit the island, where our inspiring volunteer guides help the children to engage with their surroundings.

However, many lower decile schools struggle to fund transport to the island. Therefore we established our Growing Minds programme, which provides grants to cover these costs.

The Joyce Fisher Trust has become an integral part of this programme, providing generous support which has allowed thousands of young people to visit the island free of charge. Each student learns about the importance of conservation and encounters our endangered species up close.

The support of the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust in the programme is a living legacy with an impact that will continue to be felt for decades to come.

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The UpsideDowns Education Trust gives a voice to kids with Down syndrome all over New Zealand by providing access to life-changing speech and language therapy. Learning to speak can be a real challenge for children with Down syndrome, and many require regular, individualised speech and language therapy from an early age in order to receive the gift of speech.

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Those who do receive this early intervention have better physical and employment, live independently, and engage in their communities.

Erika has been receiving therapy since 2017 when the first Joyce Fisher grant to UpsideDowns came through. At that time, she was far behind her typically-developing peers in terms of speech and language development. Now, thanks to consistent therapy, she chats away to her parents, communicates her needs by asking questions and is transitioning successfully into school.

At her most recent teacher-parent meeting, the family were informed some of her 3 and 4 word phrases are more advanced than her typically-developing classmates.

Erika and dozens more like her, now have a chance to release their full potential, and live a full, independent life.

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Riding therapy with a difference, where horses help improve the lives of children, adolescents and adults with physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual disabilities.


ensure that every New Zealander has access to quality palliative care. The ethos of hospice and palliative care defined by the WHO is that it ‘intends neither to hasten nor postpone death’. This philosophy is the cornerstone of hospice care in New Zealand.


Our aim is to positively impact the lives of young people in Auckland’s areas of greatest need by providing them with opportunities to live healthy, active lifestyles and pursue a positive pathway through sport and physical recreation. We believe this will encourage them to become prosperous citizens, connected with their community.


Kadimah is a co-educational Jewish day school for boys and girls, which prides itself on providing the highest standard of Jewish religious, cultural and all-round secular education. It teaches children to treasure Jewish culture, religion, sense of history and ethical purpose and a love for New Zealand.


The Trust focuses on providing expert rehabilitation services with a special focus on the neurological field where it meets the needs of New Zealanders who have either congenital or acquired conditions including traumatic brain and multi-trauma injuries, stroke, cancer, parkinson’s disease and huntington’s disease.


Helping to create better people, better communities, better world. Outward Bound New Zealand’s mission is inspiring personal and social development through value based experiential learning in an outdoor environment. Outward Bound is founded on universal values: compassion, greatness, responsibility and integrity.


Ronald McDonald House Auckland (RMHA) takes care of Kiwi families throughout their children’s medical journeys. We provide free accommodation and support to Kiwi families whose child has been admitted into the National Children’s Hospital for specialist medical treatment.


We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities. YMCA is a place where you can be yourself, feel comfortable with who you are and enjoy a sense of belonging. These centres teach new skills and develop peoples’ minds, encourage activity and health and this all in turn, with our warm and motivating environment lifts peoples’ spirits.


We support individual and community change by empowering women, especially young women, to develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership through enhancing their spiritual, physical, mental and cultural well-being. We are committed to addressing all forms of oppression, so that women may together attain social and economic justice.