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From us all at Taruna College
Merry Christmas and our very best wishes for the New Year
It's hard to imagine that we are almost at our year-end and yet here we are having held our graduation and end-of-year Christmas function at Taruna and looking to close for a Christmas/New Year break from Friday 15 December and returning in the New Year on Monday 8 January.

During the break we have some well-needed maintenance happening in the hostel which we plan to have finished ready for the New Year and we will have students working through the summer in the gardens ensuring that the property is ready for the start of the year when we will welcome our first students.  We will farewell our current Caretaker Darryn Breakwell who has been taking care of the house-keeping at Taruna and who has prepared, with love, many morning and afternoon teas. We will miss Darryn's kind and gentle nature, however we wish him well whilst at the same time welcome Darryn's repalcement who will move into the cottage in the New Year as Caretaker. We will also be updating our website content and pictures. 

Dates for 2018 are now set for our regular courses such as the Art of Well-Being and Certificate in Steiner Education.  We will also have some new courses to launch which we will tell you about as they unfold.  
Art for Beginners at Taruna

A five-week course was planned as a trial at Taruna as we believed that many members in our wider community would have an interest to explore art at a beginners level in a non-threatening environment.  Whilst we did mention this in our last newsletter, we did not publish it widely but rather let the information trickle out into the Hawke's Bay community to see how well received this might be.  

Our mornings started with morning tea up at the homestead, some pastel drawing in the Tui Room and in the latter weeks down to the classroom for some painting.  We had 14 people attending on our first day  (we thought 12 would be a good number) and we continued for six weeks (they were so keen we had to add another week onto the schedule) and thereafter we held this number, gaining some and losing others who vowed to return in 2018.  The students enjoyed the atmosphere Rosie Simpson created, along with her wonderful teaching skills - thank you Rosie.

With such a wonderful response from a very diverse and enthusiastic group we will continue these classes in 2018 with a new group for beginners and moving our current group along to develop further skills.  

If you would like to join our beginners group please send me an email on  Our only criteria for this class is that you must be a complete beginner!

Friends of Taruna
We have quietly introduced the idea of 'Friends of Taruna' as a way for people to show their support for Taruna as a charitable organisation.  The result of our quiet introduction as been a quiet response, although we are extremely grateful to those of you who have chosen to become a Taruna friend.  We ask again that you please consider investing a small amount to help us along in 2018.  Just to recap and for those of you that may have missed previous newsletters;
Friends of Taruna can:
  • Use the Taruna Library which will be available to visit Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.  For those of you residing out of town we are happy to courier books to Taruna friends for the cost of the courier package only. Each Tuesday morning we will have our tea trolley out for those of you who wish to spend some time in the library.
  • A course reduction of $100 per year for a Taruna signature course (non-transferable).
  • A 10% discount on room hire (non-transferable)
  • Invitations to Taruna events such as graduations, seasonal celebrations and other milestones that we celebrate.
Please consider a donation and become a friend of Taruna for the next 12 months. We commit to utilising funds received wisely and visibly - these funds will not be used to feed the day-to-day Taruna costs, but to rather help with an overdue maintenance catch up on the garden and buildings along with the creation of new courses.

Please complete the on line form from our website or simply email  to with your name and address and the dollar amount that you wish to contribute.  

Donation certificates will be available at the end of March each year.
Many thanks to two Taikura Rudolf Steiner School students who came to Taruna for four days helping in the gardens.  Our red bricks outside of the homestead are now weed-free thanks to these two young women who worked quietly and consciously until they had achieved their goal.
Reflections and thank-yous for 2017
As mentioned in previous newsletters, this year has been one of review, looking to see where Taruna's starting point was and where we are just now.  Lots and lots of information to read through and to work to some understanding of.  During this time we have also been able to successfully run our Certificate in Steiner Education Certificate course with 22 students attending each seminar along with our Art of Well-Being with 10 students.  A Rhythmic Body Oiling course was held over two separate seminars and we trialed our new course 'Burn Out' which was very well-received and will be continued in 2018.  There have been many other courses being run via Taruna as a venue and it has been great to welcome many new people along with the well-known faces who have been alongside Taruna for many years now.  Our goal for 2018 is to have more signature courses available so please watch our website as course dates are set.

A big thank you to all of those who have offered voluntary time - your contribution has been gratefully received.  Also thank you to those teachers who have worked as tutors during school holiday breaks when no doubt a break from work would have been a preferred option.  

We wish to acknowledge and thank Prometheus Foundation for a generous grant we received to assist with the development of  three new courses.  We plan to have these courses launched and available mid 2018.  We will keep you updated via our website and our Summer newsletter.
Graduation day for our Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education and
Art of Well-Being students.

Graduation day was a very special afternoon of bringing students back together to celebrate their successes. We started the afternoon with two options; stirring and spreading Preparation 500 with Rachel Pomeroy over the Taruna gardens along with crafting of peg-dolls to help decorate Christmas trees at home.  An afternoon tea was then shared on the front lawn before a formal ceremony in the library. It was just so special to see many family members and close friends of our students coming along to celebrate and support.
The year end at Taruna was celebrated last Friday evening with friends, tutors, trustees, volunteers and others who have had a presence here at Taruna in many different ways during the year.  It was a friendly and warm evening and after some refreshments on the front veranda we decorated our Christmas Tree with roses that were newly made by us all. Rosie Simpson read to us a Christmas story and walked us through the symbols as they were hung on the tree.  Carols were sung, accompanied by some beautiful guitar playing from Robert Simpson with the evening ending with a New Zealand Christmas story from Robyn Hewetson. Thank you, thank you to everyone who was able to attend and to those of you who were unable to, we held you in our thoughts.

Below are some images from our graduation and Christmas end-of-year function.
Dear Readers, Friends and Supporters,

Thanks again for taking the time to read about Taruna, particularly during this very busy time of the year.  We trust that you have enjoyed your newsletters this year.

It has felt like a very big year at Taruna, however we have received very positive feedback from our visitors and those using the Taruna facilities with regard to the changes that we have been able to achieve this year. Our students have also left us with wonderful feedback and reviews which reminds us how important the work of Taruna is.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year and look forward to sharing further news and developments at Taruna in 2018.

With very warm wishes,

Vanessa van Kampen

Look now! It is happening again! Love like a high spring tide is swelling to fullness and overflowing the banks of our small concerns.

And here again is the star, that white flame of truth blazing the way for us through a desert of tired ways.

Once more comes the music, angel song that lifts our hearts and tunes our ears to the harmony of the universe, making us wonder how we ever could have forgotten.

And now the magic within us gathers up gifts of gold and myrrh, while that other part of ourselves, the impulsive, reckless shepherd, runs helter skelter with arms outstretched to embrace the wonder of it all.

We have n words to contain our praise. We ache with awe, we tremble with miracle, as once again, in the small rough stable of our lives, Christ is born.
Joy Cowley      
Copyright © 2017 Taruna, All rights reserved.

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