For nearly 20 years humanitarians Chloe and Wayne Wright have tirelessly dedicated their time, as well as generous financial contributions, to providing educational services that improve the lives and prospects of New Zealanders, with a particular focus on mothers and children.
While they are chalk and cheese in life, the Tauranga-based humanitarians have the same down-to-earth philosophy and expectation – which, as Chloe puts it, is kindness and compassion in its simplest form.
“Have joy, take delight and ultimately it’s about people. It’s not just never do harm, it’s do good. My life is nowhere near as important as the effect it can have on others,” says Chloe.
Chloe and Wayne believe for a child to grow and become a successful adult two things are needed – roots and wings. Being given strong roots in security, tradition and strength, a child is provided with the tools to grow into someone with wings ready to fly and unlock who they are.
It is this constant vision, dedication, passion and support for others that sees Chloe and Wayne continue to go above and beyond when it comes to making a real difference in the local community.
Wayne and Chloe Wright are the founders and two of the Trustees of The Wright Family Foundation.
It matters not the measure of my lifetime, but only that through nurturing and life's experiences I have come to this place where so much is possible, where I can achieve outcomes in the lives I may be honoured to touch.
I believe the pathway to change requires courage, commitment and perseverance. All that underpins my actions is the firm belief that we are all unique and therefore irreplaceable. Given that, as each of us discovers our own talents and abilities, we are able to make choices that become solutions for betterment or problems for ourselves and others. I choose people over all else.
It is important to me to honour my ancestors for the life I have been given, to find fulfilment in my family's contribution to our people - the people of New Zealand. As a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, you and I will follow the pattern of life to our ultimate conclusions and if we are wise and fortunate we will discover the true source of happiness during this journey. In my case, what's important is freeing the true self, being present in the moment, and paying it forward.
"Help they brother's boat across and lo, thine own has reached the shore." Confucius
I wonder some days why I am where I am in life. Since getting married to Chloe I spent the next thirty years getting our family established and financially secure.
The next eighteen years were committed to making a positive difference in the lives of New Zealand preschoolers and assisting Chloe to guide our children to become who they are today.
Now it's about giving back, and it's absolutely thrilling to see our Foundation assist multiple projects to fruition, as they strive to make New Zealand a better place.
Hi, I’m Belinda, the daughter of the bunch, but most people call me B. I enjoy working with horses and have taught people to ride for many years. The thing I like most about working with animals and children is watching how they progress over time. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the transformation into a confident being ready to take on the world, whether it is a pony or a person.
I am also a keen gardener. My husband, Lukas, loves planting natives and I love all things edible or medicinal, so we round each other out perfectly to create a beautiful garden. We often go for bush walks and are eager to put ourselves forward for various conservation projects, which fits in well with the studies I am currently doing in environmental science.
I love working on big group projects, but I am also a self-driven multi-tasker and can accomplish a lot on my own, having run various fundraising events for a multitude of charities over the years. I plan to include ‘artist’ in my list of skills in the coming years and have plans for some pretty interesting and unique pieces, so watch this space.
I have spent my adult life in the service of developing people. I now consider myself an agent for reducing potential – closing the gap between what is and what can be. There have been some simple, but powerful, lessons from teachers, coaches and mentors along the way, which continue to guide me:
Be in position and ready to receive the ball as often as possible. Once you get it, do as many good things as you can.
Do what is right, even if unpopular; and do it with kindness.
Today I am fortunate to say I am doing something that I value and brings me happiness, and it is satisfying assisting others to one day say the same.
I'm motivated by furthering my understanding of the world around us – both the natural world and man-made.
Technology has always been a passion of mine. I like being able to utilise technology to improve the lives of those around me. It's great to be able to critically observe situations, find creative alternatives, and see the positive results at the end.
I'm highly self-motivated, but it's good to take a bit of time out every now and then to enjoy some hobbies. I play basketball, tennis and a bit of golf. I also like to play guitar, read a good book, and play games.
I had a childhood characterised by creativity, exploration and independence. My parents supported my inquisitive mind within a framework of traditional values and a strong moral code. My adventures did not always end well, but I learned the value of being prepared, finding comfort in my company and persevering through difficult and often solitary challenges.
I have always liked to tinker and I think it's important to know how things work. My constant deconstruction of machines and reconstruction into various contraptions to suit my needs has taught me that many outcomes are available from similar foundations. If you are going to take the time to build something, then build it well and with pride. Make it safe and reliable. You may never know if you have over-engineered, but you will always know when you have fallen short. Consider the possibility that loved ones may use it one day as your barometer of comfort.
I believe this metaphor of similar foundations and diverse outcomes can be applied to people. We all share many similar traits, but we all perceive the world in our own unique way, shaped by our experience, values and culture. I am wary of people who claim certainty of knowledge because I believe that absolute truth is limited to mathematics; in the real world truth and reality are crystalised by the perception of the individual. For this reason I do not believe in equality, because it ultimately implies we have nothing unique to offer. I do, however, believe that we are all valuable. Although we are taught to believe that anyone can become anything, I believe that our unique talents and resources must be well coordinated and staunchly disciplined to accomplish our own extraordinary outcomes. Nothing rewarding comes without risk or effort. People of means and accomplishment have worked hard for their outcomes and have earned the right to be respected. We each have a responsibility to work hard to reach our goals and not casually lean on the generosity of others to get through life. The support of loved ones and strangers should never be taken for granted.
There is nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life, the trouble starts when we believe we are above the hardships and lifestyle challenges that most people must face. Be modest of appearance and attitude. It is crucial to be regularly reminded about common hardships to keep both feet firmly on the ground and foster empathy with those around us. We may play a role that puts us in technical authority over others or be blessed with abundance, but I have no time for people that feel self-important and superior to others. Relationships are the most prized accomplishment in life; nurture and value them, without the love and respect of people that matter all else is meaningless.
I am the youngest of five siblings. I am very fortunate to have great relationships with all of my family, and I personally believe that forming positive relationships with the people around you is key.
I have spent my adult life developing as a musician, working towards others’ goals and my own. I find great satisfaction in pushing boundaries and achieving results that are challenging. Music has led me to some of the best and most rewarding relationships I could hope for, and I believe it is a great tool for learning about and communicating with others.
I have had a colourful career and a fulfilling life. Coming from an impoverished but loving family in the north east of England, I avoided going down the local coal mine. I became a qualified educationalist, starting life teaching in a variety of educational establishments, including institutions for ‘at risk’ children and youth with special needs.
I developed experiential and personal development programmes for children, youth and adults, and provided these in residential and ‘day’ settings.
As the Director of the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Centre, a charitable trust providing personal development programmes for children and young people, I continued this work in New Zealand.
This was followed by taking on the role of Executive Director of YMCA Tauranga, a community-based charitable trust providing a range of services to its local community – including services for children, youth and young adults. Wayne Wright then came along and asked if I would like take on their new SCHOOL’S OUT programme, and I accepted the challenge.
My purpose in life, and my passion, is to take make a positive difference and be instrumental in helping individuals, groups and organisations reach their full potential – and the most powerful and effective way to do this is through education, in its broadest sense. I am honoured to be asked by Chloe and the Wright Family Foundation to assist them in the work of the Foundation – not only because our values and goals are aligned, but because we all genuinely want to enable as many individuals as possible to live a full and productive life.