Warm greetings from us all at
Taruna College     
October 2017

A very warm welcome back to our second newsletter of the year and no doubt, like me, you are all welcoming the arrival of Spring.

The gardens at Taruna are slowly showing us what they have been hiding under the ground all Winter and so for me it is a pleasant surprise to arrive each week with new bulbs showing themselves and the Tui playing in the beautiful purple flowers provided by the Echium plant are delightful - I had hoped to capture a picture to share but there is nothing like just 'being there'.

Taruna has had many visitors over the past few months, and it was wonderful to have Bodo von Plato come and visit us for a conversation and sharing time during his visit to the Hawke's Bay. We continue to greet people from our community and further afield holding workshops and seminars ranging from Defensive Driving, to parenting, yoga and crafting. We warmly welcome groups up to Taruna to rent our spaces and we would like to promote this further, so please do let your friends know that this an option.

Our work continues with Taruna mostly this year in the realm of review and learn, and then back into that cycle so that we have finally, after nine months of searching through and cleaning out old documentation, unveiled the key decisions,  events and times that have left Taruna treading water so that it remains in just a little better than survival mode just now.  

I think this verse from Rudolf Steiner, that was posted on Facebook by Kelli Caldwell last night is helpful for us all, and in particular those working so passionately to re-enliven Taruna which at times has felt like a significant task that has required us to be extremely hopeful:
And when you begin to see that you cannot do so,
it is then that you lose heart.  
That is the point my dear friends - do not lose heart:
know that it is not the momentary success that matters,
it is working on and on with iron perserverence.
Rudolf Steiner.

We plan to next move our cycle into the planning stages and this piece of work will begin in 2017.

    What is in our Spring Newsletter?

    - Taruna's new look - property developments

    -  Updates from courses run during 2017

    -  Looking ahead at the 2018 calendar

    -  Friends of Taruna - a little more from the first invite in our
       previous newsletter (we need you!)

                        - Updates from the Taruna Charitable Trust


Property News

The old office that was situated in the middle of the homestead has been incorporated into the small area where the fire place is situated by removing a wall. This has created a beautiful place to sit and reflect, as a break-out room for those running courses and work shops in the Tui Room and for another place for our visitors and students to relax and perhaps enjoy some lunch or morning tea.

The Tui Room has also received some much needed attention with repairs to the ceiling, fresh painting of the entire space, new light shades and carpet.  We were able to purchase some new velvet covered chairs after receiving an   unexpected donation and we are in the process of organising new table tops for the old custom-wood tables.  This has created a light, fresh and inviting space which we hope to share with the wider community as this renewal has created a wonderful environment for workshops, courses and meetings.

A new therapeutic space 
The small room adjacent to the homestead (previously the BD office) has been turned into a therapeutic space.  This space is available for hire so if you are interested in share/hiring this room please contact us.  The lounge area in the homestead and toilet facilities will be part of this hire arrangement. If you would like more information please contact us.  

Meet our new colleague Steve Arcus
Steve is our VIP and integral part in bringing much love and care to the property. Steve can turn his hand to just about anything. He works with care and attention and we are extremely grateful to have him working alongside us.

Many visitors to Taruna have expressed their wonder as to how we have managed to fund these changes.  No, we have not found a pot of gold in the garden, we have found friends, contacts and supporters who have been willing to help us to maximise the small budget that we have worked with for this year and we are extremely grateful that these kind people have allowed us to improve an old homestead that had and still has lots of improvements needed.
A big thank you also to Olivia Donnelly who will be known to many of you through her work as handwork teacher at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School in Hastings.  Olivia very kindly covered all of our outdoor cushions and squabs for what was mostly a gift, as with our other contractors this year.

Many thanks also to Osha Bianco (pictured left) and Cecile Hurford who have been quietly working away as volunteers in our library, sorting out books that need repair and preparing new books to be added to the library. It was also a treat to have Kura Rutherford up for a visit and to give us some advice.


The Art of Well-being Seminar 2

Facilitated by Lauren Hudson and Rosie Simpson

Assisted by Deb Bednarek, Sue Simpson and Margaret Mary-Farr

In June we met again for the second of three seminar weeks.  Again we deepened our connection to the programme themes of ‘meet yourself; know yourself; be yourself’ through art, biography work and pushing into the nature of well-being.  We were delighted to welcome two new students to the group and whilst this would not be normal practice for a course such as this, these students were past Taruna students and fitted well into the group.  

We also spent an evening of story telling with Robyn Hewetson enjoying our newly formed space around the fire.

Our final Spring seminar for 2017 starts in early September and we look forward to continuing the learning journey with this group of students. 


The Rhythmic Body Oiling   Seminar 2

Facilitated by Deb Bednarek, Jocelyn Freeman. Kristina Friedlander and Michelle Vette

Assisted by Claire Morgan and Jean Mc Gavock and Jeremy Raichle-Moore


The second and final part of this experiential foundation course saw the group increase in number with several experienced anthroposophic nursing colleagues joining us for some refresher days as professional development. It was wonderful to catch up with friends who we hadn't seen for some time and to hear the positive feedback from everyone encouraging us to forge ahead to 2018 with a plan for future health courses, refresher days and the ongoing education pathway for anthroposophic nurses.  We have heard you and planning is progressing to deliver to these many requests.  Watch this space . . .
It was refreshing to welcome Jeremy Raichle-Moore as a specialist tutor to explore Spatial Dynamics with the group each morning.  His work  and Jean’s art sessions fully supported and helped to integrate the course content and clinical sessions throughout. Here is a short piece from Jeremy for those of you wanting to know a little more about his work:

As an approach to Movement Education Spatial Dynamics consists of a developmental progression of age-appropriate games, group activities, and exercises that introduces the pupil, student, and adult to the changing dynamics between the body, the surrounding space, and the world in which he/she moves. Dynamic movement mapping encourages reflex integration, and spatial/social awareness. Spacial Dynamics is one of the keystones of the Movement Education programs for Waldorf Schools. Spacial Dynamics is also used in Curative Educational institutions, and is offered in remedial programs in schools, as well as a source of developmental and therapeutic support for individuals.

                                                                                                                                                        Jaimen McMillan

Because this was our last Rhythmic Body Oiling course for this year we would like to share with you some feedback from the participants:
"I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to participate in this course and am hoping now to be useful in the world"
"I wanted to say that these are very special unique and intense learning experiences you offer here at Taruna. Something new has begun . . . "
"All lectures were relevant to the topic and well presented" 
"Excellent very relevant and enhanced understanding of what is working behind RBO"

The Certificate for Rudolf Steiner Education Seminar  2
Facilitated by Rosie Simpson 

Assisted by Clayton Gibson, Lauren Hudson, Rachel Hughes, Peter Lee, Margaret Mary-Farr, Robert Simpson and David Urieli and Michelle Vette

This was another fully attended course and the feedback from our students has again been positive. It is heartening to have so many truly committed students, many taking time out of holiday leave, to come to Taruna for this learning experience.  We understand that life can be busy and hence our decision to spread this certificate course over two years for those who need the additional time to truly digest their learning.  Feedback from this decision has been positive from both students’ and schools’ perspectives. Having said that the majority of students have chosen to complete the programme this year and we very much look forward to seeing them return to us in October for Seminar 3.

Our byline at Taruna is Connect, Nourish, Sustain. This has been a lived experience on this course so far. In a world where many learning opportunities for adults are offered online, at a distance, the three week- long seminars in our beautiful environment offer the opportunity to build a real community of learners who continue to grow their connection as the year progresses. Learning happens from encounter and sharing with each other, as well as from our experienced tutors, new friends and colleagues are made; this network is tangible and humming! No better place to see it than in a eurythmy lesson with Sue where after just a few days complex forms are woven in space with surprising grace and social dexterity.
Our students come from all over Aotearoa – from Mangawhai in the North to Christchurch in the south, they also hail from Hungary, Japan, Chile, England and the United States. Next term we welcome a new participant who is travelling from Singapore to join us.

The onsite learning allows for an education that engages head, heart and hands. It is great to see the quality of work that emerges during classes, in the last seminar classroom activities included drawing with pastels and crayons, geometric drawing and form drawing. A diverse range of creative responses has been engendered as a component of self-chosen assignments that are taken on at home to deepen and extend the themes of each seminar. These included from the first seminar: a film, a dance, a kindergarten puppet-show for a Matariki festival, a hand-made ukulele, models of dodecahedrons related to the twelve senses, an illustrated storybook, a poem... the range is as diverse and as individual as our students.

Some feedback from Seminar Two:
“All the content has been wonderful in giving me more confidence to meet the children I work with in a more wholesome way.”
“the eurythmy was incredibly helpful in integrating a lot of things for me”
“this week flowed. The visit to the school offered a solid opportunity to see what we have been working with”
“the opportunity to reflect on my own individual inner life and be able to share that in a wonderfully safe and secure environment. For example echoes, midday journaling and group work throughout the day.”

Art at Taruna for Non-Artists

Rosie Simpson Rosie will work with our 'new to art' visitors playing with colour. You don’t need any previous experience or particular skill to join this class. We will explore colour moods and simple drawing techniques using chalk pastels and watercolour. This is a good opportunity to put away any hindering preconception you may have about your artistic ability, to try something new and nourish your creativity in a supportive learning environment.  

We are running a trial of five mornings starting Wednesday 18 October and thereafter each Wednesday with our last class being Wednesday 15 November.  Spaces and limited and therefore bookings will need to be phoned into the office on the Monday morning prior to the Wednesday you wish to attend.  

We ask that you consider a small donation to assist with morning tea costs.


Burn Out - Friday evening into Saturday short course

On Friday we explore:

·      The context that creates both burnout and the potential for health
·      Story as powerful medicine
·      The soul food of colour painting, as well we
·      Begin to experience the healing force of plants

On Saturday we:

·      Begin with movement
·      Continue our journey experiencing the healing power of plants
·      Experience the potency of relationships and social interaction
·      Lap up the warmth of hands on self-nurturing
·      Take time to observe nature and experience wonder
·      Work with the alchemical mandala and
·      Experience the magic of form drawing

What is currently on the 2018 calendar (which is growing)

Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education - made up of three seminars in April, July and October

Art of Well-Being - made up of three seminars in March, June and September
Art of Well-Being II - made up of two seminars in May and August
Certificate for Holistic Health - in development

The newly developed 'Burn Out' course - three workshops.  Note: this course is available for organisations wishing to book as a private group.
Three new workshops - still under development (watch our website!)
Bio-Dynamics - under development and yet to be confirmed

We have totally refreshed our Art of Well-Being this year, along with the Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education.  Every Taruna course has been or is still being renewed and reviewed.  We acknowledge that the programmes at Taruna have always been valuable and received good feedback, however a new team with fresh eyes in any organisation brings renewal and updates and healthy change.

Will Taruna still be here in 2018?

We are aware there is a question out in the wider community - Will Taruna still be up and running for 2018 and the answer is categorically YES!!!  At the end of 2018 there will be a further review and assessment of the year and further planning and decisions will be made then.  If you believe in Taruna, again we request that you please get behind us.

Friends of Taruna - We invite you to re-join or join with us now - we need you!

In our last newsletter we asked for your support in that you sign up to become a friend of Taruna for a donation of $30 for a half year or $60 for a whole year.  If we had just one quarter of our newsletter subscribers gift $60 to Taruna, the total sum donated would reach $60,000 a significant input and help to Taruna.  To date we have just had three subscribers and we thank those families very much.

What would Taruna do with this donation?  Many of you who have been up to Taruna will see that the homestead needs some attention, it needs painting (the paint is literally falling off all of the window frames and sills).  The once beautiful garden needs to be re-shaped and replanted.  The car-parking needs attention and marking out . . . there are many ways that we could utilise a bulk injection of funds.  In particular we continue to redevelop and create new and exciting courses that will not only contribute to the betterment of our wider community, but of course will re-enliven Taruna and help to take it back to its roots and the original intention of Ruth Nelson and Edna Burbury - as a place of meeting and learning.

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.
We ask that you please consider this small 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 form below and send to us at or post to us, or simply include the details requested into your own email.  Donation certificates will be available at the end of March 2018.

A note from the Taruna College Charitable Trust

Spring is in the air at last, and at Taruna we can see many new buds beginning to sprout as a result of the efforts made by the Leadership Council these past months.  The Ruth Nelson and Taruna College Trusts are gathering this week to discuss new funding opportunities for Taruna so that the efforts we've made so far can continue to take hold and move Taruna towards a brighter future.  It is our deepest wish for Taruna to continue as a beacon for those wishing to deepen and transform their relationship with themselves and our world.  We look forward to communicating with the wider community about these new initiatives as we firm up our decisions and they begin to take shape.

                                                                                                                                                                              Kelli Caldwell

Dear Readers, Friends and Supporters,

Once again we do hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter.  Please let us know if you would like us to include anything that is of interest to you.  Our wish is to keep you all updated as to what is happening up on this beautiful piece of land and we need to remind ourselves to pause for a moment, reflect and to share with you rather than just having our heads down and 'doing it' assuming that you are all updated!  We know that people are watching and waiting to see what happens next.

Planning us underway for 2018 (yes we plan to still be here, open and running - growing) and trusting that our initiatives will be well supported.  We also with to bring others in so that our team can grow and that Taruna can evolve to become  a healthy and happy environment for all to enjoy and be nurtured by.

Please do consider becoming a 'Friend of Taruna'.  It is easy to pop a newsletter in the pile with all of the other things that you plan to do, and ultimately it gets lost.  Your gifts are almost critical to inject some much needed capital and seed monies to keep Taruna on the road to recovery and then to flourish.

With very warm wishes 

Vanessa van Kampen





We celebrate spring's returning and the rejuvenation of the natural world.
 Let us be moved by this vast and gentle insistence that goodness shall return,
that warmth and life shall succeed,
and help us to understand our place within this miracle.  

Let us see that as a bird now builds its nest, bravely, with bits and pieces,
so we must build human faith.  It is our simple duty; it is the highest art; it is our natural and vitgal role within the miracle of spring: the creation of faith.




                                                                                                                                                               Michael Leuing

Our mailing address is:
33 Te Mata Peak Road
Havelock North, Hawkes Bay 4130
New Zealand

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