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Source: Massey University


Digital Wings founder Dianne Daniels.


Massey alumna Dianne Daniels won the Education category at this year’s NEXT Woman of the Year Awards.

Ms Daniels, who graduated from the former Palmerston North Teachers’ College (now Massey’s Institute of Education) with a Diploma in Teaching in 1976,  is the founder of charitable trust Digital Wings, which promotes access to digital technologies and education for people who are digitally disadvantaged. The organisation facilitates the donation of surplus computers from corporates to community organisations, as well as providing ongoing education and mentoring.

Ms Daniels established Digital Wings two years ago after heading the Government-funded Computers in Homes programme, which saw refurbished, donated computers supplied to more than 20,000 families with children enrolled in low-decile schools. She found a lot of worthy community groups did not fit the criteria for the programme so looked for a way to help.

“If I’d asked for permission to do it, I probably would have been told no,” Ms Daniels told NEXT magazine. “But, whereas there are people who like to do things right, I like to do the right thing. It just seemed like the right thing to do.” 

Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood was also a finalist in the Education category. She was recognised for 30 years of researching the best ways to improve financial capability and translating this into practical training programmes.

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