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Exceptional Adult Learners Recognised During Adult Learners' Week

Wintec | Te Pūkenga celebrated the success of its top adult learners through the annual Adult Learners Awards. The celebration is a part of Adult Learners’ Week, He Tangata Matauranga, an initiative Wintec has been supporting since 2004.

The Adult Learner Awards are a highlight of the Wintec calendar and were hosted in the Atrium on Wintec’s city campus.

Six exceptional adult learners were honoured and celebrated. All had embraced their learning with enthusiasm and a drive to succeed, challenged themselves and supported others in their learning journeys.

The award winners

The recipients of the awards, who came from diverse backgrounds and fields of study, were chosen from 23 outstanding nominees, with each winner receiving $1000.

Recipients of this year’s two Adult Learner Awards were Holley Grundy (Hair Design) and Molly Hottman (Bachelor of Applied Information Technology).

The two Māori and Pacific Adult Learner Awards were awarded to Eri Mauteka (Bachelor of Nursing) and Rawiri (Ra) Keelan (Graduate Diploma in Communication).

Te Wera Mateparae (Certificate in Exercise) received the Foundation Adult Learner Award.

The International Adult Learner Award went to Wun-Jing (Jamie) Chen (Applied Science).

Shelley Wilson, Executive Dean of Faculty and Interim Operational Lead for Wintec | Te Pukenga said adult ākonga (learners) make up 54% (5,066) of students at Wintec, “many of these are not only studying, they are also working, looking after whānau, supporting their communities, navigating a new country, or overcoming other life challenges.

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“They do it for the betterment of their future and that of their whānau and communities, however navigating these competing demands can be very challenging. Alongside providing support and pastoral care throughout their learning journey, we also need to celebrate those adult learners who have shown exceptional commitment, dedication and sacrifice to achieve success.

Guest speaker, and 2020 winner of an Adult Learner Award, was Keri Pewhairangi. Keri, who completed a Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts Degree at Wintec | Te Pūkenga, shared an inspirational account of her challenging journey as an adult learner.

“I use my story to show my kids that they too can seek and achieve the utmost highest of their dreams,“ said Keri.

She went on to acknowledge the learners in the room who were being celebrated, “to be an adult learner is challenging. For you to come back at this time in your life, your pursuits must be very very special. They must be your iti kahurangi (lofty mountain),” she said, referring to the whakatauki, Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe, me he maunga teitei - Seek the treasure that you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

About the Adult Learner Awards

To be nominated for an Adult Learner Award, students must be over 25 years old, enrolled in a full or part-time programme at Wintec, and balance roles and responsibilities associated with being an adult learner.

Nominees should demonstrate enthusiasm, determination, show support and encouragement to other learners, share new skills, knowledge and abilities, and challenge themselves and others with new ideas.

Wintec’s Adult Learner Awards are part of The Festival of Adult Learning, Ahurei Ākonga a UNESCO initiative supported by the Tertiary Education Commission, adult and community education providers, and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

© Scoop Media

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