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Sunshine Books – Teaching the World to Read

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Dame Wendy Pye

The girl from Western Australia who had a dream to teach the world to read

Dame Wendy Pye has always had her own path even before the day she was unceremoniously made redundant over 35 years ago.

Within 24 hours of being made redundant, Dame Wendy had set herself the goal of creating life-changing literacy tools and had started on a path to building a global education empire, committed to teaching the children of the world to read.  Since then, Sunshine Books has sold 300 million books.

Her autobiography traces her journey from the outback of Western Australia, to working with world leaders, to the refugee camps of Lebanon – all the while creating a multi-million dollar ethical business that has positively influenced the lives of children worldwide.

The book is full of wisdom and frankness about her challenges. It is also a template for young entrepreneurs or anyone who aspires to create a business and life on their own terms.

Wendy’s autobiography will inspire, educate and entertain.

“I began my journey to teach the world to read, from a small train station in Western Australia. At that time, I had only 34 dollars and one suitcase, but I also had the determination to be successful.

This is a story about what is possible. It is a story that I hope will inspire all young people who are planning to make a difference to follow their dreams, not to be afraid of failures along the way, and also to celebrate successes with the people who have made them possible.”

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Profits from the sale of Dame Wendy’s autobiography will be donated to the following charities:

Multiple Sclerosis Auckland

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is devastating for both the person diagnosed and their whānau.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong chronic condition affecting the central nervous system which impacts around one in 1,000 New Zealanders and their whānau.  It is the leading cause of non-traumatic disability among young and middle-aged adults in many developed countries. In New Zealand, the average age at diagnosis is 38, so multiple sclerosis is known as a ‘prime of life’ disease, as people are often building careers, families and futures when they receive their diagnosis.

One of the most difficult aspects for those affected by multiple sclerosis is living with the unseen symptoms and the impact on daily life. Overwhelming fatigue, chronic pain, blurred vision, spasticity or inability to lift your own hand, are some of the many daily struggles that can be experienced.

Multiple Sclerosis Auckland works to provide individualised guidance, support and advocacy to people facing the challenges of this debilitating condition. It aims to fulfil a vision of helping people with multiple sclerosis to live full lives. Proceeds from book sales will directly support much needed counselling sessions for people across New Zealand and their whānau affected by multiple sclerosis.

The Carbine Club of New Zealand and The Sir Denis Blundell Charitable Trust

Established in 1971, The Carbine Club of New Zealand was formed by prominent Auckland sporting and racing figures – Dave Bradford, Bob Wynyard, and Arthur Hughes, supported by Dr. Alex McGregor-Grant, an esteemed honorary member of the Melbourne Carbine Club.

The club proudly bears the name of ‘Carbine,’ a champion New Zealand-bred thoroughbred racehorse whose illustrious career boasts an impressive 30 principal victories in both New Zealand and Australia. 

At the heart of The Carbine Club of New Zealand is a dedication to celebrating excellence in sports. Throughout the year, a variety of events are hosted featuring distinguished guest speakers, each embodying the pinnacle of sporting achievement.

The funds raised at luncheons and the annual golf day serve a great cause – the Sir Denis Blundell Charitable Trust. Established by The Carbine Club of New Zealand, this esteemed charity is dedicated to empowering people with a disability to actively participate in sports with funds distributed to support disabled athletes throughout New Zealand.

The Hearing House – North Island

The Hearing House is an Auckland-based charity that delivers a range of essential services and programmes to clients from Cape Reinga to Taupō, helping people who use cochlear implants to hear.

Its dedicated team of audiologists, specialised therapists and support staff works with clients, whānau and partners to establish a community of care that enables people to make choices about their own lives.

For a cochlear implant recipient, receiving their implant is just the beginning of their journey to access sound. The Hearing House helps children as young as five months of age up to adults in their 90s to learn to listen and communicate with the aid of their cochlear implants. 

As a charity, the Hearing House relies on fundraising and donations to provide unique services and programmes to its clients, including our:

  • outreach clinics
  • mobile hearing van (due to hit the road in May 2024) to help cover its operating costs
  • initiatives to employ a social worker and continue with our counselling work.

The Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (SCIP) – South Island

Since 2003, the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (SCIP) has been dedicated to helping children and adults with profound hearing loss, who gain no benefit from hearing aids, to gain or regain access to hearing and spoken communication.

SCIP delivers cochlear implant services in all regions south of Taupo.  Covering 75% of the country, SCIP has two offices, one in Wellington and the other in Christchurch. 

The benefits of an implant are life changing. It connects, or reconnects people, with home, school, work, and their communities. The team of SCIP specialists support the full spectrum of a CI journey, from initial assessment through to post-surgery rehabilitation. Patients are never discharged from SCIP as the programme is mandated to look after a CI recipient’s equipment for its lifetime. A SCIP patient is a patient for life. 

SCIP has a long-term goal to ensure that all patients who would benefit from an implant are able to receive one and to support their ongoing equipment and after-care costs.

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