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Otago Polytechnic Lecturer Wins National Teaching Award

Otago Polytechnic Lecturer Rachel Dibble has won a Te Whatu Kairangi -Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Award for 2022.

The award is among the most prestigious teaching awards in New Zealand.

A Senior Lecturer within Otago Polytechnic’s Social Services programme, Rachel (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahine) won a Kaupapa Māori Award. She is also eligible for the Prime Minister’s Tertiary Educator of the Year Award - to be awarded to one of the nine awardees on November 23.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Megan Gibbons says the award reflects a strong culture of excellence at the institution.

"I’m delighted Rachel has been acknowledged with such a prestigious award," says Dr Gibbons (a recipient of an Ako Award in 2016).

"It’s wonderful the awards committee have acknowledged Rachel’s dedication and excellence. Her contribution to Otago Polytechnic and her commitment to her tauira is greatly valued."

Rachel places great emphasis on creating a learning environment in which people experience real connections to place and space.

"As an educator, I strive to facilitate authentic learning experiences that come from recognition of mana whenua space - and are founded on the provisions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"Experiencing whakawhānaukataka in a learning environment is one way to tautoko (support) the mana of the tauira in the room. It is all about building relationships.

"I am humbled to accept this award. It is a consequence of the mahi of inspirational tangata Māori, and my whānau. This mahi builds on foundations laid at OP by Emeritus Professor Dr Khyla Russell and team, and the passionate colleagues I co-deliver with today.

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"My approach includes facilitating education through multimedia, incorporating Māori voices such as heavy rock band Alien Weaponry, and the outstanding slam poetry group Ngā Hine Pūkōrero."

More than 20 Otago Polytechnic educators have won Ako Aotearoa Awards since 2007.

Read more about the award winners here

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