Dean is the father of two wonderfully energetic and constantly surprising boys, Theodore (17 years old) and Joshua (seven years old). He comes to this role from a background in the building trades, sales and marketing, supported employment, project research and writing, strategic planning, delivery and evaluation, and NGO Governance. These professional developments were paralleled with Dean’s post-graduate studies, taking him from English Literature and Art to Film, Television and Media Studies and discourse analysis.
Dean graduated from The University of Auckland Faculty of Arts with a Master of Arts with First Class Honours in 2000. His Doctor of Philosophy Research was supported by a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship where he investigated representations of mental illness as they are depicted in cinema in order to uncover myths and assumptions about madness as they are promulgated by the media. He graduated in 2009.
He argued that cinema in particular has a role in the constituting of madness through representational language that does not reflect, but is constitutive of, everyday life. He found this to be true for any disenfranchised or marginalised group othered by society.
He has worked in research and policy analysis area in the health sector before managing the Like Minds, Like Mine Project for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. Like Minds has a long tradition of community development approaches to delivery and evaluation of social outcomes.
This includes assisting groups of local (nationwide) Like Minds training and education providers with strategic planning, programme logic development and writing, governance, and operational support and resources. Key to this is leadership, evaluation, research and reporting evidence to advocate and develop new funding opportunities for projects that benefit communities by communities.
Dean looks forward to his new challenge with the Flaxroots Community Planning Auckland Project with North Shore Community and Social Services. He looks forward especially to the learnings ahead and developing links and connections to put communities in the driver’s seat in deciding how to improve their neighbourhoods.