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Massey researcher wins top Māori award

Massey researcher wins top Māori award

A Massey researcher has won a prestigious Māori award for her work in helping indigenous children with special needs succeed in the education system.

Associate Professor Jill Bevan-Brown (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Wehiwehi, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi) has received the New Zealand Association of Research in Education’s Te Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award.

The award recognises researchers who have made a significant and long standing contribution to Māori education.

Dr Bevan-Brown has dedicated more than 30 years to finding culturally appropriate and effective ways to teach children with special needs, in particular Māori children. She has also researched and provided ways the education system can support the whānau of those children.

Her research is recognised internationally and it has led to many widely used resources including the Cultural Self-Review and a DVD on autism, In My Shoes, which has been distributed to 22,000 schools, hospitals, tertiary institutions, social and Māori organisations all over the world.

“I feel humbled to have received this award and thankful for the people who have supported me over the years,” Dr Bevan-Brown says.

“From a child I’ve always been concerned about social justice issues. My dad was an All Black but wasn’t able to go to South Africa because he was Māori. We always thought this was so unfair. This has contributed to my concern for people who are disadvantaged and the direction my study has taken.”

Dr Alison Kearney, of Massey’s Institute of Education, nominated Dr Bevan-Brown because of the significant and positive impact she had made over the years.

“Jill is an outstanding scholar and researcher who has made significant contributions at national and international levels to indigenous and Māori education, inclusive education, gifted education and autism research,” she says.

“For Jill it has always been about improving things for children, young people and their whānau as well as for teachers.”

The award was established in 1998, and the last Massey University researcher to receive the award was Arohia Durie in 1999.


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