Lara Tookey

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Lecturer, Department of Construction, Unitec Institute of Technology

“All experiences and sources of knowledge are connected and can assist in our self-improvement if we have the wisdom to use them.”

A dynamic, inclusive and inspirational teacher in the field of Quantity Surveying, Construction and Engineering Technology, Lara is highly successful at teaching students from a wide variety of backgrounds, many of whom are educationally disadvantaged. Her passion is to teach effectively, knowing that the quality of her teaching is likely to be a key factor in their future achievements. This has seen women succeed in a male dominated discipline and inspired many students, some of whom had never experienced academic success, to continue to higher level studies.

A student encapsulates Lara’s passion by saying, “You have taken my weakest subject and made it the best.” Underpinning Lara’s teaching philosophy are Leonardo da Vinci’s seven principles that embody the quintessence of excellence; a framework that promotes creativity, makes connections, enables real world experience and instils an insatiable curiosity in, and for, learning. A peer comments, “I would love to clone Lara and her pedagogical engagement practices to better engage Māori into the Quantity Surveying profession.”

Video Gallery

Lara Tookey - 2015 Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Award Recipient