08 May 2023
Welcome to the Whānau Lounge, a space where parents come together to chat and hang out. Located on the grounds of Glenview School in Porirua, the lounge is an initiative to empower māmā and whānau.
Anne Somerville is the whānau liaison at Glenview School, and you’ll often find her in the lounge, across the playground, or at school events.
Her job is to bring the people together who need it most.
“My absolute passion in this job is to work with parents. My role is to awhi and empower women of the Glenview community.”
A place to come together
Around three years ago the lounge was built, following the redesign of the primary school campus. Anne and Glenview School principal Lynda Knight-de Blois were inspired by social justice advocate and author Celia Lashlie’s ideology, and decided to set up their own initiative to serve the wider community.
At the moment, it’s all hands on deck for Garden to Table, a nationwide programme supporting tamariki to grow, harvest, eat and share kai.
“There’s a parent whittling away right now in the lounge sewing aprons for our tamariki to wear,” says Anne.
She hopes the programme will not only empower tamariki, but mātua , too. Everyone will be involved.
It’s these core principles of involvement and empowerment that form a baseline of what the Whānau Lounge does.