Fifteen Ako Aotearoa staff singing the Ako Aotearoa waiata with Dr Mei Winitana leading from the front


Ako Aotearoa hosts second 2024 Regional Forum in Palmerston North

22 May 2024 Learner centred, Effective pedagogies, Effective teaching, Funding, Teaching strategies, Educational outcomes, Māori and Pacific pedagogies

Ako Aotearoa hosted our second 2024 Regional Forum on 17 May at Awapuni Racecourse in Papaioea, Palmerston North.

We were delighted to bring the central and lower North Island education community together at our Central Regional Forum. The forum provided educators the opportunity to connect, network, and keep up to date on what’s happening within the tertiary education sector.

About 80 staff from different parts of the sector attended the forum and enjoyed presentations from a variety of specialist speakers and panellists from Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, ITENZ, ACE Aotearoa and more. Some highlights included presentations from Michael Few who spoke about the opportunities of AI being used in the tertiary sector, and Te Ataahia Hurihanganui who closed the event by bringing her passion for Mātauranga Māori to the stage.

“The speakers and panellists brought their unique specialist knowledge and subject expertise to life on the day” says Central Hub Sector Services Manager (SSM) Sam Kelly. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few of them before, but I was thoroughly impressed with the energy and mana everyone brought to the stage...It was also great to see the diverse range of knowledge being shared amongst the audience”.

MC Pale Sauni (left) & Sector Services Manager Sam Kelly (right)

MC Pale Sauni (left) and Sector Services Manager Sam Kelly (right)

The focus for the Central Regional Forum remained consistent with the overarching theme of 'Tūhono: Connecting Traditions and Futures in Tertiary Learning' across all 2024 Forums. Following this theme, Sam wanted to place importance on educational advancements and cultural responsiveness within the programme, as he would love to see an education sector that supports all learners.

We were also delighted to hear how the forum had a positive impact on its attendees, and their eagerness to carry this impact and new mindset into their practice:

“We are exploring how to be more accommodating of neurodivergence, and so I have some new resources and information now to look into to help us do this.”

“I really appreciated getting a wider sense of the different projects that Ako Aotearoa is spearheading and a better understanding of the broader tertiary sector.”

Thank you to everyone who attended the Central Regional Forum. Your support and contributions to the event have been invaluable, and we hope you felt inspired and were reminded of the importance of supporting all tertiary learners. We cannot wait to see you again at our future events, workshops and courses.

If you're located in the upper North Island and would like to continue expanding your sector connections and knowledge, please join us for the Northern Regional Forum in Hamilton on 21 June, hosted by our Northern Hub SSM, Ruth Peterson. Limited spaces are available, Check out our amazing line up of speakers in the programme (subject to change).

Attendees find their seats, ready for the presentations to begin.  A participants asks a question at the Central Regional Forum There were a variety of quality presentations at the Central Regional Forum
See more photos from the Forum 


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