Attendees of the online Tapatoru Award ceremony in Zoom

Success Story

28 staff from three tertiary organisations receive Tapatoru Award in online ceremony

2 November 2023 Supporting learners, Learner access and pathways, Pacific learner success, Māori learner success, Workplace learning

Ako Aotearoa was proud to acknowledge the recent awardees of the Tapatoru Ako Professional Practice Award in an online ceremony last week.

Tapatoru is a values-based professional development initiative focused on creating inclusive and effective learning environments and elevating the practice of tertiary educators and kaimahi (staff).

Kaimahi from Whitecliffe College, Skills4Work and Te Mahi Ako are the first cohort to achieve the Tapatoru Award since the pilot in 2021.

“Your commitment to fostering values such as whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, wairuatanga and aroha as educators is nothing short of inspiring,” said Tapatoru facilitator Graeme Smith in a recorded video message.

“As we celebrate your achievements today, I encourage you to continue embodying these values in your education journey. Remember that your dedication to your ākonga and your commitment to fostering a culture of excellence and empathy in education are making a profound impact.”

Tapatoru facilitator Annette Tofaeono presented the Tapatoru Awards to the following kaimahi from each organisation:

  • Whitecliffe College: Christina Doherty, Doula Matheos, Giles Peterson, Harita Kapur, Pip Stevenson, Roman Mitch, Sarah Ryan, and Susan Barter.
  • Skills4Work: Chris Acabodillo, Desiree Gelbart, Neil Jackson, Priya Dikshit, and Verginia Tuwere.
  • Te Mahi Ako: Alan Reynolds, Angela Robinson, Angie Gooch, Carolyn Verhagen, Donna Hooper, Elizabeth Parker, Emily Brown, Emma Brown, Jim McKendry, Matt Bynon-Powell, Matt Stockton, Nick Parke, Ryan Stark, Steve Richens, and Tracey Hickman.

We were delighted to hear from the following representatives of each organisation about their Tapatoru journey:

“During my Tapatoru journey, a love and appreciation for te ao Māori was born…Two words, however, hold a greater significance and meaning, enriching my teaching practice: kōrero and whanaungatanga” – Susan Barter, Whitecliffe College.

“Being part of the Tapatoru journey has been a transformative experience. [Tapatoru] has also reminded me of the fundamental truth: there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ teaching style or framework for our students and our adult learners. We have the power and responsibility to nurture an inclusive environment. By doing so, our learners feel heard, respected, and empowered to thrive and reach their full potential” – Verginia Tuwere, Skills4Work.

“We had a change in more purposeful engagement with values in mind. Especially when we were tackling some tricky situations, [Tapatoru] was a really good reminder of applying our values of manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and aroha” – Tracey Hickman, Te Mahi Ako.

“I’d like to give a big ‘Ngā mihi nui’ to Graeme and Annette for being a beacon not only of the Tapatoru values, but for adult education in general. You are the lighthouse and you showed us the way” – Jim McKendry, Te Mahi Ako.

Congratulations once again to all awardees for this significant achievement.

Kaimahi from four more organisations are currently going through the Tapatoru programme, with more set to start in February 2024.

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Ako Aotearoa to celebrate 2023 Tapatoru programme awardees and launch new Tapatoru pathway

We are delighted to announce that kaimahi (staff) from three tertiary organisations from across Aotearoa New Zealand have achieved the Tapatoru Ako Professional Practice Award (a values-led approach to tertiary education).