Owen Glenn interviewed on Deaker on Sport
Wednesday 25 July 2012 1:39 PM
Vodafone Warriors owner Owen Glenn featured in a major interview on Deaker on Sport on SKY Sport 2 on Thursday night.
Philanthropist Glenn was in Auckland with joint venture partner Eric Watson last week.
While they were here they met with Vodafone Warriors board members, management and coaching staff, made a major strategic announcement about the Vodafone Warriors’ future and were at Mount Smart Stadium last Saturday night to watch the club’s two teams take on Newcastle.
Glenn was also here for the launch of his book ‘Making a Difference’ and to announce the Owen Glenn Foundation’s support of a major community initiative drawing attention to domestic violence and child abuse (see media release below). He also took time to meet other organisations he is associated with including Hockey New Zealand.
In his pre-recorded interview with Murray Deaker on Deaker on Sport, Glenn talked about his passion for sport and business and how he intends to continue helping New Zealand society. The interview was conducted on Monday after the Vodafone Warriors' major initiatives were revealed last Thursday.
OWEN GLENN MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 17, 2012
Owen Glenn has returned to New Zealand for the launch of his much anticipated biography but more importantly he says he’s back to support children and families and to raise attention to New Zealand’s family violence and child abuse statistics and his commitment to reverse them.
Glenn’s Foundation (The Glenn Family Foundation) has been in operation for over 30 years and includes a vast array of projects from leprosy to child prostitution and trafficking but it is the New Zealand’s high statistics in child abuse and family violence that are currently on Glenn’s radar.
“It is shocking to think in a beautiful country like New Zealand these problems exist but the growing statistics are alarming and it’s simply not good enough. People don’t realise that the cost of domestic violence and child abuse to the New Zealand economy is the equivalent of rebuilding Christchurch every four years – forever. It’s a national embarrassment.”
Glenn has had his Foundation focusing on a project, which he launched today in Otara, that centres on helping to build stronger communities.
“I believe that if a community is strong, its people are strong. Strong communities means people care about each other, they look out for one another, there’s a sense of pride in where they live and where they go to school and work.
"Strong communities mean less crime, safer streets, less domestic violence and children that are safe from abuse and harm.
"Children in strong communities grow up in loving families with supportive neighbours.
"In such environments children are able to engage in learning, and grow up to be confident, happy and productive adults and parents themselves.”
Glenn says he has been concerned for some time about New Zealand’s growing statistics in child abuse and family violence citing an opinion piece he wrote about it for the New Zealand Herald in October last year.
“It didn’t raise a peep out of anyone so I’m going to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ launching a project that is centred on children and young people, their families and the neighbourhoods and community in which they live.
"The aim is, using Otara as the test case’, to help the Otara community to provide its children and young people with a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and prosper.”
Glenn says each of our children deserves the right to become a confident, well-educated adult who is able to earn a decent living and be a good parent.
“We ALL owe our children this. This is a simple goal but not always an easy one to achieve. What has become most apparent from the research is that while there are lots of programmes out there, unfortunately there is a significant lack of connection and coordination amongst them.
"Many are subject to short-term and sporadic funding contracts and winning funding and complying with the reporting requirements of these contracts becomes the principal objectives, rather than what they are really trying to achieve.”
Glenn says while his Foundation’s focus is with the suburb of Otara but Glenn stresses he is not singling them out.
“The answer is simple – I lived here long ago and when I was a young married man with children and I remember some of the things I saw at that time going on around me.
"In fact, it was the violence and maltreatment of children that I saw then, that helped me decide to leave this country to go and live in Australia. That was a long time ago and I know, since then, some things have changed.”
Glenn says what was then mostly a European/Pakeha suburb is now a place where the overwhelming ethnicity is Maori and Pacifica. There has been a great deal of positive changes in Otara as a community.
“But I know that it is still a community that suffers from extremely low incomes, high unemployment, high welfare dependence, high levels of transience and truancy from school, high levels of teenage pregnancy, high levels of substandard and crowded housing, and poor childhood and adult health.
“We have to start somewhere, so where better than Otara, a place where I once lived and still have an affinity with.
"Everyone agrees it is a 'Human Right' to live free from violence, yet for many New Zealanders, their home is where they are most at risk.”
Glenn is so committed and fired up about this he will fund a Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of why domestic violence and child abuse still remains such a major issue in New Zealand and to solve this issue.
“Together, with other interested parties I will fund it because I'm not willing to let whom-ever is in Government hide behind the cost as a barrier, to avoid embarrassment. I'll work with people who share my passion in this area to foot the bill to make sure it happens.
“It will be money well spent, not just reducing the pain and harm inflicted on victims of domestic violence and child abuse, but reducing the $8 billion per year family violence costs New Zealand directly and indirectly.”
Glenn and his Foundation have met hundreds of community organisations doing wonderful work, but they need:
- A long-term funding streams, not intermittent contracts.
- A national strategy they can feel a part of, so their local work, every day, contributes to solving this national problem.
Glenn says the projects his Foundation will get involved with will aim to pull people together.
“As I said earlier, it’s all about building stronger communities, ‘for community by community’. We all need to wake up because this is a national epidemic which needs to be stopped as soon as possible.”
Otara Projects – Committing over $8m:
• Support Otara Health to develop a Families Centre and to provide and coordinate a range of positive programmes and services for young people, parents and families. It will also be supported to extend the work of its Neighbourhood Support Groups and its Kaitohutohu Home Visiting Service.
• Support Eastern Women’s Refuge and its associated Men’s Caucus to establish a Men’s House and programmes for violent men.
• Work with the Warriors and Hockey New Zealand to support young people’s engagement and learning in schools in Otara.
• Work with business and the Otara/Papatoetoe Local Board to fund and construct a safe 1,600 metre cycling and exercise walkway/track in Ngati Otara Park. Within easy walking distance are 1,460 primary school children.
• Introduce a “Coaching Boys into Men” programme for coaches and trainers in Otara to help boys understand that violence on or off the field is not OK.
• Support Sistema Aotearoa to foster teamwork, confidence, pride and aspiration in Otara children by learning to play music and to promote the same values in the community.
• Support Otara Schools interested in introducing or expanding eLearning (the deep integration of digital technologies into how children learn) for their students. The aim is help engage students in their learning and to lift their achievement at school.
• Support Otara Schools who wish to introduce a Garden to Table programme which introduces practical education on how to grow vegetables and fruit and to cook the produce.
• Support the Young Enterprise Trust to offer practical enterprise, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programmes to students in interested Otara schools.
• Support the Springboard Trust in their work to provide strategic leadership training for school principals in low decile areas.
• Support Teach First New Zealand efforts to increase the supply of science, math and English teachers to high schools in low decile areas.
• Set up a set of Owen G Glenn First in Family Tertiary Scholarships for Otara High School students to encourage them to go on into tertiary education or training.
Statistics from the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse:
- On average, the New Zealand Police attend a family violence callout every six minutes.
- In one year, at those callouts, almost 95,000 children witnessed or resided in those homes! That’s more children than there are people in Palmerston North, witnessing and suffering violence and abuse, every year.
- Research shows the police only hear about 20% of all family violence incidents.
- 85% of sexual violence is committed by someone known to the victim.
- More women and children are assaulted in the "safety" of their own home, than in public.
- Almost 60% of all reported violent crime in New Zealand is family violence related
- Almost half of all homicides in New Zealand are family violence.
- Women and children in New Zealand are more likely to get hurt by a loved one, than a complete stranger.
- About 37,000 people currently live in Otara which is now made up of primarily of Pacific Islanders (around 70 per cent), Maori (around 28 per cent) and others.
- The Glenn Family Foundation have spoken with over 180 people and organisations in and outside the Otara community in relation to this project. This includes people in the community and from schools, universities and polytechnics, government agencies, ministries, sporting and cultural organisations to health providers and other foundations and trusts.
The Glenn Family Foundation was founded by Owen Glenn over 30 years ago. Its first donation was to organisations in Macau that were involved in supporting the physically and mentally disabled of all ages, schools, nurseries and hospices. Much of what the family foundation does is about supporting disadvantaged children.
In New Zealand, the Glenn Family Foundation has provided over $3.5m to the Millennium Institute, over $1m to Hockey New Zealand for the development of grassroots programmes, $8m to the University of Auckland Business School, $500k to support a Chair in Marine Science, and $300k to support a Chair in Cancer Theraputics; scholarships to support young New Zealanders in their sporting and vocal endeavours and many other worthy New Zealand charities.
For more information visit www.glennfamilyfoundation.org