Based in Melbourne Victoria, these days Dionne Pia is best known for her contributions and advocacy for youth as a Director of SANCSS Australia. Dionne’s corporate background and proven track record has been instrumental in achieving outstanding results for her clients and committed to do the same for disadvantaged youth.
When Dionne isn’t busy running an apparel company she co-founded, you can find her on the SANCSS farm participating in the cultural arts program encouraging disengaged youth to discover, create and heal through therapeutic art therapies weaved within cultural learnings.
With a passion and focus around Australian maori/pasifika within the youth justice sector, Dionne’s catalyst was her son who had become involved with substance abuse issues and later incarceration stints throughout his young life.
One key factor identified with maori youth within youth justice is the cultural identity crisis. The current programs lack understanding from a “mossie” (Maori Aussie) perspective, NZ youth workers having unrealistic outcomes in a multi cultural setting, further depleting any self esteem our kids may have. Something had to change….
Out of necessity Dionne founded the organisation Ko Au Te Huringa, meaning “I Am The Change” which necessitates maori/pasifika cultural factors and practices on Aussie soil.