Kate Laughter

Kate Laughter

Stage 1

Art Community Volunteering

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

As man disappears from sight, the land remains

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Kō Kate Laughter tōku ingoa. My whakapapa connects me to Ngāti Porou, and I was born in North Carolina, USA. I am in my final year of school at St Mary’s College.

I love spoken word poetry and was introduced to this medium by Action Education's inter-high school competition ‘WORD - The Front Line’. I use the power of poetry to engage my audiences and leave them with an awareness of issues or historical events they may have never heard before. I write about identity, social justice, and being a kaitiaki of the whenua. Spoken word has opened up many opportunities and different platforms (both live events and published print) to share my poems with a broader audience. 

I am an active leader in the Auckland Council’s Young Leaders Sustainability Programme. The programme connects like-minded rangatahi to bring about change through an environmental justice and action lens. I also volunteer on the Operations Team of the Puketāpapa Youth Foundation. It is our mission to create sustainable Council events to engage the rangatahi of our local community. 

I actively volunteer for the St Vincent de Paul Society (Young Vinnies), which is a social justice movement of the Catholic Church. Through Vinnies we cook meals for people facing food insecurity and regularly make food parcels to be distributed from their Onehunga Food Bank.

I am so thankful to have been selected to be a part of the Pinnacle Programme. I hope that the physical challenges of the programme will deepen my mental resilience and determination to overcome any rejection or setbacks I may encounter in my future pathway: the creative arts industry. I have great plans to bring forth the stories of my whenua, and my people, to a wider mainstream audience. 

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