RAW Advisory Group (RAG)

Raw Members

RAG’s Objective

RAW Advisory Group

The RAW advisory group is comprised of RAW alumni who have maintained prolonged desistance from criminal pasts. Having advanced pro-socially and extending positive contribution to society, they possess both the expertise and credibility to inform broader discussion on advancing support, empathy, and connection to the incarcerated community.

With a wealth of lived experiences and diverse backgrounds amongst its members, the group seeks to provide guidance to the New Zealand Government on detainment contenting and social policy.

Meet the RAW Advisory Group members


Tēnā koutau katoa Ko Hikurangi Tōku Maunga Ko Waiora Tōku Awa Ko Ngāti Parou me Ngata Kahungunu orku iwi No Napier ahau Kei Kirikiriroa Tōku kinga inaianei Ko kylie Mclean Tōku ingoa

From the age of 14 to 36, I was in and out of an addiction battle with methamphetamine, it took away my hurt and the numbed feelings I didn’t want to feel, but in return, I lost myself. I was in and out of the Australian prison system, during this time, until 2016, when I was deported back to New Zealand, my birthplace. Once here I soon found myself back in prison. It was during this time that I met RAW, a pivotal moment that changed the course of my life.

Since then, I’ve embraced change and growth. I’ve completed two Level 4 certificates and am currently in my second year of studying for a bachelor’s degree in Bicultural Social Services. Today, I’m also working in the social services field as a peer youth worker, using my lived experience to make a difference to the lives of others. As a mother of five and nana of two, I am driven to create a better future for myself and my whānau.


Towards the end of my sentence, I worked with RAW on the inside to establish my eligibility and long-term goals. To be given the opportunity to come to RAW was life-changing and has provided the support I needed to build solid relationships with my family and work towards a career that I have always been fascinated with. My passion for aesthetics and the transformative power of skin treatments led me to pursue a diploma in beauty therapies and after five years in the industry, explore the potential of a franchisee buy-in.


Kia ora, my name is Maddy, and I am 29 years old and a mother of three beautiful children, Sofia-Rose, 11, my kind, sweet, creative soul, Luca-Reign, 4, my cheeky, sassy little queen, and Koah, 2, my wild, crazy, loving son.

I was convicted and sentenced to four years and served two years at the age of 21 for my first offence. What an eye-opening experience that was, but it also a blessing in disguise.

I met RAW halfway into my sentence, they were a huge support system for me and gave me hope, something I didn’t have a lot of at that time. They have been a back bone to me ever since, whether that be upfront or behind the scenes. I am currently working full time as a skin and laser technician at The Cosmetic Clinic after graduating with my Diploma of Beauty, Body and Spa therapies. My first ever academic achievement that RAW scholar shipped me into. Next year I am to embark on one of the biggest, and most exciting academic journeys of my life – A bachelor’s in nursing, only made possible by the RAW team never taking no for an answer and helping me get my foot in the door to make the impossible, possible, for someone with a colorful background like mine. I hope to delve into the world of nursing through trauma and theatre – but who knows where this journey may take me. This has been a dream for a long time, I can’t wait to be a role model to my children, demonstrating that anything is possible.


After enduring a total of 11 years behind bars between the ages of 22 and 40, it is miraculous to find myself in the nurturing environment of RAW, experiencing stability, sociability, and continual personal growth.

I encountered RAW halfway through my second prison stint in 2018. Their support has fundamentally reshaped my existence, infusing it with purpose and significance. Embarking on a Master of Sociology at the University of Waikato this year, I am eager to delve into research investigating the trajectories of female criminal careers. My goals are to cultivate the expertise to convey impactful messages to women in comparable circumstances, while also aiding governmental efforts aimed at breaking the cycle of recidivism.


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