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Making the World Brighter by Starting Within: Reflections on NZSDRT Week - By Rohit

Every once in a while, life gifts us with moments that resonate deep within our souls, igniting our passions, and reminding us of the incredible journeys we're on. For aspiring Diversional Recreation Therapists (DRTh) in New Zealand, the National DRT week is one of those moments. It's a time to celebrate, learn, and connect with the magic of their profession.


We are so lucky to have amazing facilitators in Kauri Academy who push us not only to complete our programme but to actually exhaust our full potential. For NZSDRT week this year our incredible programme leader, AJ, wanted us to be out there living the life of a DRTh and experience the magic first hand.

First stop…celebrating Success with our Rawhiti Estate Whanau. Imagine stepping into a world where the achievements of those who've walked the path before you are celebrated with open hearts and joyful spirits. This is exactly what we witnessed. Kauri graduates, already soaring in the field, were honoured. We lit up the party with cultural dances and heartfelt acknowledgments. The presence of Helen, the General Manager of the organization, sharing an inspiring speech, reminds us of the importance of recognizing and celebrating each other's accomplishments.

Second day kept the ball rolling. Rhythms of Unity… The national cardio drumming flash mob spearheaded by Ellen Romero, a Kauri graduate and recipient of this year's Judy Cooper National Excellence Award, is a testament to the power of unity and the ability of one person's vision to inspire and mobilize others. We participated and recorded our entry to this national flash mob. We cannot wait to see the final video of it.

It was a packed second day. In the afternoon we went to celebrate with our Northbridge Lifecare whanau. A pivotal part of NZSDRT Week is introducing newcomers to the enchanting world of Diversional Recreation therapy. Celebrating with another Kauri graduate and her team at Northbridge Lifecare, these aspiring DRThs shared the magic of their roles with fresh faces, ensuring that the torch of inspiration continues to burn brightly.

Third day is something many looked forward to. A Treasured Bond with St. Andrew's Village maintaining enduring relationships we have with them. The warm connections forged at St. Andrew's Village are a testament to the power of connection. Carmen, the company's Director of Care, reminded everyone that inspiration often lies within the stories and experiences of the people we serve.

The final day of NZSDRT Week was a true labor of love, an overtime that nobody minded. It was a visit to CHT ST Margaret's, where the light of knowledge and experience was passed from Kauri alumni to the future DRTh generation. This inspiring gesture emphasized the importance of continuity and nurturing the growth of their profession.

Beyond skills and knowledge, NZSDRT Week gifted us aspiring DRThs with connections and relationships that are as valuable as gold. Networking and building a supportive community are essential aspects of any profession, and these future caregivers have grasped this truth wholeheartedly.

Our story of this year’s NZSDRT Week is a story of passion, dedication, and the commitment to making the world a brighter place through the art of diversional recreation therapy. To all the DRThs in New Zealand, know that you are amazing. Keep shining your light and making the world a brighter place every day.

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