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ALA Winners 2022

Māori and Pacific Adult Learner Award

Torez Wiperi-Karauria-Heta-modified

Torez Wiperi-Karauria-Heta
Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture)
Torez, who commutes from Thames, had to work hard to save enough money to study Arboriculture this year. When successful, he will be the first in his family to achieve a Level 4 qualification. Alongside his study, he volunteers supporting disadvantaged youth and also has commitments caring for family members. 

Torez always takes responsibility for his learning, ensuring he has all the information and resources he needs, then working hard, using the strong work ethic of his whānau as his example.  He tackles challenging subjects with the same vigour as his stronger subjects. 

Torez is a class representative, a strong supporter of health and safety initiatives, a positive influence on class dynamics, and of great support to the tutors. He regularly offers encouragement and advice to classmates, includes them in discussions and coaches them with skills-based tasks. A fantastic role model with a strong desire to help others succeed, Torez has positively influenced a number of Māori students to strive, push themselves and successfully complete their qualification.  

As a Tuākana, Torez has made a significant positive impact through his manaakitanga, sharing his knowledge, experience and advice, and helping and encouraging fellow students if they are struggling.

Nikitia Donovan-modified

Nikitia Donovan
Paetahi Tumu Kōrero Bachelor of Counselling
Nikitia is studying counselling alongside her many other roles as an amazing māmā, and a leader in both her church community and a national car enthusiast club. 

As class representative, Nikitia has been the point of contact to connect and support her classmates and an advocate for her fellow students. She is quick and insightful in offering words of encouragement. 

Nikitia has organised many extracurricular experiences that directly contribute to the learning journeys and engagement of our ākonga, through supporting wānanga, whakawhanaungatanga, and manaakitanga. Nikitia takes leadership roles within group activities, often standing as a tuakana, but equally humble and willing to learn as a teina.  

Nikitia is very organised, extremely engaged and consistently strives to achieve highly. She is not afraid to dig deeply into topics, raise challenging questions, question the status quo, or enquire when her understanding isn’t yet clear. 

She openly shares her learnings from her research, her ideas for resource development, useful and innovative tools she finds, and strategies for time management with her peers and Kaiako.  

Adult Learner Award

Donna Reihana-cirlce

Donna Reihana
Bachelor of Nursing (Level 7)

To fulfil her dream of studying nursing, Donna had to give up her full-time position and move to Hamilton. She now runs two households, studying during the week in Hamilton with her two sons and travelling back to her husband and daughter in Whitianga on weekends. 

Donna has a warm, nurturing manner. She makes everyone around her feel at-ease and excited about learning and helps them believe in their ability to be the best nurses they can be. She always shares her skills, knowledge and abilities with others and helps simplify hard science into easy-to-remember scenarios and can make even mundane things sound interesting. 

Donna checks in with peers on how they are going with pre-learning and if they need any support. If she sees anyone by themselves during group work, she invites them into a group and gives them support and encouragement. 

Donna shows up to every class, regardless of her circumstances. If there is a change in timetables or any confusion, Donna clarifies things with tutors then messages everyone the correct details. 

Libby Jackson-modified

Libby Jackson 
Bachelor of Midwifery
Libby is a third-year midwifery student in the Hawke's Bay Hub. With four school age children, travel to attend classes in Hamilton means lots of juggling commitments, especially as her husband also travels regularly. Libby’s travel and accommodation costs also add financial pressure.  

Libby is passionate about midwifery and demands much of herself. She strives hard to both understand the health complexities that impact pregnant women, and to comprehend information from multiple viewpoints. She questions, researches and discusses until she grasps knowledge. 

Libby is committed to her studies and often undertakes clinical hours during evenings and weekends to work around her commitments. She uses her clinical experiences to enhance her learning and provide positive and empowering experience for the women and families she cares for, receiving glowing feedback. She is very reflective in her learning and experiences, with one LMC preceptor saying Libby was the most reflective midwifery student she had ever worked with. 

Libby is supportive of others, particularly those in Hawke's Bay. She is focused and organised, uses her initiative, and shares her ideas. 

Foundation Adult Learner Award

Dylan de Morais_2-modified

Dylan de Morais 
Electrical Engineering Level 3
Dylan moved to NZ in 2021, leaving behind his support network, and made the daunting decision to make a career change and study Electrical Engineering full-time. He overcame many challenges while studying including financial hardship and having to work extra hard to deal with the ongoing challenges of dyslexia. Due to his partner’s very complicated pregnancy, he had to support her with daily transport and take on most of the household chores. Then despite a traumatic birth just days before his final exam, he still passed with merit.  

Dylan is a positive, enthusiastic learner and extremely hard worker, which rubbed off on people around him, lifting them to greater learning heights. He thinks "outside the box" to find creative solutions. 

Dylan worked previously in office management, where he gained leadership skills which he applied in his group work. He also had outstanding computer skills which he used to support the group with learning new skills and helping them set up to work more efficiently, improving the ability of those around him to deliver excellent assignments. 

Dylan was always there to support and help fellow learners, bringing groups together after hours to work on their assignments and prepare for presentations, and always encouraging those who were struggling.

ALA nominees

Māori and Pacific Adult Learner Award

Carmen Banks-modified

Carmen Banks
Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)
Carmen is a dedicated mother of five, studying veterinary nursing. When she is not studying or working in a veterinary clinic, she is taking care of her daily mom life including lots of travel and sports. Carmen wants to be an example for her children, show them you can do anything you set your mind to, despite timelines or age. 

Carmen is a very dedicated and engaged learner, always asking questions, volunteering new information, and thinking outside the box. She seeks new information to support her learning through research and utilising mentors she has found in placement/industry.  

In class discussions, Carmen is a natural leader and encourages her group members to participate, fostering more teamwork and equality in the classroom. She provides new ideas while being respectful and polite, giving everyone a chance to have their say.  

In surgery rotations, Carmen is organised and aims to provide the best patient care and owner information, and continually improve. Carmen takes the time to guide others, based on her experiences in work/placement and learnings. Her employer at the veterinary clinic describes her as dedicated and motivated.

Torez Wiperi-Karauria-Heta-modified

Torez Wiperi-Karauria-Heta
Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture)
Torez, who commutes from Thames, had to work hard to save enough money to study Arboriculture this year. When successful, he will be the first in his family to achieve a Level 4 qualification. Alongside his study, he volunteers supporting disadvantaged youth and also has commitments caring for family members. 

Torez always takes responsibility for his learning, ensuring he has all the information and resources he needs, then working hard, using the strong work ethic of his whānau as his example.  He tackles challenging subjects with the same vigour as his stronger subjects. 

Torez is a class representative, a strong supporter of health and safety initiatives, a positive influence on class dynamics, and of great support to the tutors. He regularly offers encouragement and advice to classmates, includes them in discussions and coaches them with skills-based tasks. A fantastic role model with a strong desire to help others succeed, Torez has positively influenced a number of Māori students to strive, push themselves and successfully complete their qualification.  

As a Tuākana, Torez has made a significant positive impact through his manaakitanga, sharing his knowledge, experience and advice, and helping and encouraging fellow students if they are struggling.

Zabrina Laing-modified

Zabrina Laing
Enrolled Nursing (Nēhi Whakauru)
Zabrina brought a vast background of life experiences to her Enrolled Nursing studies including work in aged care and at the Thames Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Through her role on the board of Thames Early Childhood Centre, Zabrina was able to be a role model for the Pacific and Māori whānau of the community. 

With her effervescent and positive personality, Zabrina participates, enquires and questions, always giving 110% and taking every learning opportunity in class and on placement. Her enthusiasm shines through in everything she does. 

Zabrina is always willing to share her skills and amazing ideas. She challenges herself and others with different perspectives and ways of thinking. She builds on her own experiences, bringing new ideas and learning to classmates and teaching staff alike.   

Zabrina shows such caring and empathy and support of others, both in and outside of class and in her clinical placements. She often stays after class to awhi others – having conversations, providing moral support, revising lectures, helping with assignments and studying for exams. She is also the class representative and advocates for herself and others. 

Nikitia Donovan-modified

Nikitia Donovan
Paetahi Tumu Kōrero Bachelor of Counselling
Nikitia is studying counselling alongside her many other roles as an amazing māmā, and a leader in both her church community and a national car enthusiast club. 

As class representative, Nikitia has been the point of contact to connect and support her classmates and an advocate for her fellow students. She is quick and insightful in offering words of encouragement. 

Nikitia has organised many extracurricular experiences that directly contribute to the learning journeys and engagement of our ākonga, through supporting wānanga, whakawhanaungatanga, and manaakitanga. Nikitia takes leadership roles within group activities, often standing as a tuakana, but equally humble and willing to learn as a teina.  

Nikitia is very organised, extremely engaged and consistently strives to achieve highly. She is not afraid to dig deeply into topics, raise challenging questions, question the status quo, or enquire when her understanding isn’t yet clear. 

She openly shares her learnings from her research, her ideas for resource development, useful and innovative tools she finds, and strategies for time management with her peers and Kaiako.  

Adult Learner Award

Kimberly Adams-modified

Kimberly Adams
Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture)
Kim is an outgoing 27-year-old from Auckland. After travelling the world, she returned to pursue a career in Arboriculture. Aware student life would be financially challenging, Kim saved for a caravan for accommodation.   

Kim brings positive energy, a can-do attitude and enthusiastic focus to every class, which rubs off on everyone. Kim makes the most of every lesson and learning opportunity, always striving for excellence. She is always first to give things a go, role modelling and helping others step out of their comfort zone.  

Whanaungatanga and success for the whole class are important to Kim who genuinely cares for her classmates, organising study groups, sharing her knowledge and industry experience, providing encouragement and humbly lifting others’ confidence. She even organised and prepared meals for about 15 of her classmates at a weeklong field trip. 

Kim was a student representative and a strong advocate for health and safety. In a male dominated industry, Kim has advocated for women, attending and competing at industry events. She represented Wintec at the 2022 Waikato/BOP NZARB Tree Climbing Competition, achieving third place in the Women’s event. 

Rainbow Blossom-modified

Rainbow Blossom 
Paetahi Tumu Kōrero Bachelor of Counselling
Rainbow is in her fifth year of part time study in counselling while working as a support worker in a mental health and addiction organisation. She uses her own lived experience of mental illness to help others including running a recovery group and a peer support group, and being a tangata whaiora representative on the new Henry Rongomai Bennet Centre rebuild. 

Rainbow prioritises maintaining her own wellbeing and demonstrates excellent self-care in action, enabling her to achieve work of an excellent standard, often suitable to use as exemplars. She uses her many years as a student working in the sector to produce case studies that show how the knowledge, models and theories can benefit tangata whaiora, work colleagues and other students.  

Rainbow attends class smiling with infectious enthusiasm and ready to learn and participate. She demonstrates values of kindness, humility, honesty, transparency and support of others, always striving to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. She models ethical practice, seeks diverse perspectives and always strives to improve. 

Rainbow is generous with her time to support others. By knowing and being able to express what she loves, she ignites passion in others.

Libby Jackson-modified

Libby Jackson 
Bachelor of Midwifery
Libby is a third-year midwifery student in the Hawke's Bay Hub. With four school age children, travel to attend classes in Hamilton means lots of juggling commitments, especially as her husband also travels regularly. Libby’s travel and accommodation costs also add financial pressure.  

Libby is passionate about midwifery and demands much of herself. She strives hard to both understand the health complexities that impact pregnant women, and to comprehend information from multiple viewpoints. She questions, researches and discusses until she grasps knowledge. 

Libby is committed to her studies and often undertakes clinical hours during evenings and weekends to work around her commitments. She uses her clinical experiences to enhance her learning and provide positive and empowering experience for the women and families she cares for, receiving glowing feedback. She is very reflective in her learning and experiences, with one LMC preceptor saying Libby was the most reflective midwifery student she had ever worked with. 

Libby is supportive of others, particularly those in Hawke's Bay. She is focused and organised, uses her initiative, and shares her ideas. 

Matthew Murdoch V3-modified

Matthew Murdoch
New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting, and Drainlaying
Matt is a husband, father to small children, full-time plumbing student and also works in the plumbing field two days a week. He is extremely devoted to his studies and exceptional at juggling all his commitments, evidenced by his ability to meet all course deadlines working and studying from home during Covid isolation, while caring for young children.  

Matt consistently role models a constructive and optimistic can-do attitude to his classmates, always asking pertinent questions and eager to learn more. Matt's prior knowledge helps him find innovative solutions and challenge the status quo, to produce great outcomes. 

His attitude to his own learning extends to others, assisting fellow students with Moodle when his coursework is finished, and contributing his plumbing and life experience to aid others, particularly the younger students in the class. He even picked up and dropped off another student from Cambridge every day, contributing to the student successfully finding employment.

Donna Reihana-cirlce

Donna Reihana
Bachelor of Nursing (Level 7)

To fulfil her dream of studying nursing, Donna had to give up her full-time position and move to Hamilton. She now runs two households, studying during the week in Hamilton with her two sons and travelling back to her husband and daughter in Whitianga on weekends. 

Donna has a warm, nurturing manner. She makes everyone around her feel at-ease and excited about learning and helps them believe in their ability to be the best nurses they can be. She always shares her skills, knowledge and abilities with others and helps simplify hard science into easy-to-remember scenarios and can make even mundane things sound interesting. 

Donna checks in with peers on how they are going with pre-learning and if they need any support. If she sees anyone by themselves during group work, she invites them into a group and gives them support and encouragement. 

Donna shows up to every class, regardless of her circumstances. If there is a change in timetables or any confusion, Donna clarifies things with tutors then messages everyone the correct details. 

Jennfier Wright-modified

 Jennifer Wright 
Bachelor of Nursing (Level 7)
Alongside her full-time nursing study, Jennifer has two of her five children still living at home, and a granddaughter she actively looks after. She is helping her son plan his wedding, teaching her daughter to drive and watches numerous netball games to support her youngest.  

Jennifer knows her ‘why‘, this motivates her every day to continue learning. She is committed, recently resigning from her part-time job to fully focus on her degree, and even took an exam while she had Covid. She always tries her best, asks for help when she needs it and takes on board advice.  

Jennifer actively participates in group work, forums and discussions and encourages others to also. She shares her knowledge with her peers, taking time to go over class notes with them, sharing study tips and holding group study sessions at her house before exams.  

Jennifer overcomes any learning challenges she strikes by trying and embracing new ways of working. She adapted her note-taking format, made flash cards, printed out Kura cloud diagrams and stuck them around her house and listened to Dr Hank's crash course while cleaning.

Foundation Adult Learner Award

Ching-Hui Change-modified

Ching-Hui Chang 
Electrical Engineering Level 3
Ching-Hui juggles being a full-time Electrical Engineering student, dedicated father and supportive husband. He always makes family time and is heavily involved in supporting his children in their learning and after school activities each day, and discovering and enjoying the life and beautiful nature Aotearoa/New Zealand has to offer. 

Ching-Hui shows great determination, commitment and energy, and studies hard to broaden his knowledge. He makes use of all available research sources, thinks outside the box, considers many scenarios and loves to discuss ideas and learn from his peers, resulting in outstanding course grades. 

Ching-Hui comes to class with a friendly, humble, and supportive attitude, always willing to help and support other people to learn and understand more about electrical theory, explaining difficult calculations or content to classmates. He goes out of his way to find more information when the group is unsure about anything and always shares and discusses interesting information he finds with classmates. 

When he sees his classmates produce excellent work, he always acknowledges this and praises their work, encouraging them to keep progressing and engaging in their learning.  

Dylan de Morais_2-modified

Dylan de Morais 
Electrical Engineering Level 3
Dylan moved to NZ in 2021, leaving behind his support network, and made the daunting decision to make a career change and study Electrical Engineering full-time. He overcame many challenges while studying including financial hardship and having to work extra hard to deal with the ongoing challenges of dyslexia. Due to his partner’s very complicated pregnancy, he had to support her with daily transport and take on most of the household chores. Then despite a traumatic birth just days before his final exam, he still passed with merit.  

Dylan is a positive, enthusiastic learner and extremely hard worker, which rubbed off on people around him, lifting them to greater learning heights. He thinks "outside the box" to find creative solutions. 

Dylan worked previously in office management, where he gained leadership skills which he applied in his group work. He also had outstanding computer skills which he used to support the group with learning new skills and helping them set up to work more efficiently, improving the ability of those around him to deliver excellent assignments. 

Dylan was always there to support and help fellow learners, bringing groups together after hours to work on their assignments and prepare for presentations, and always encouraging those who were struggling.

Zane Eramiha-modified

 Zane Eramiha
Applied Horticultural Services (Level 3) (Landscape Construction)
Zane, his partner and two children are actively involved in their local community and his study in Horticulture and Landscape Construction is intrinsically linked to his goal of the restoration of the whenua and waterways associated with its wellbeing.  

As Business and Restoration Manager for Manawanui Developments and through involvement with other environmental causes, Zane has numerous commitments outside of classroom hours. At sunrise he checks live eel traps and often checks on projects and contractors at the end of the day. He eco sources seed from nearby Maungatautari Mountain and grows these in a nursery he designed and is building himself. 

Knowing we are just guardians of the whenua he is fully committed to anything with potential to improve our environment. His enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge is infectious, inspiring others to roll up their sleeves, get involved and learn more.  

Zane learns with an open mind, contributes openly and provides valuable input to discussions. He is concerned about the welfare of our youth and has challenged himself to make a difference. So, he works to attain new knowledge, so he can pass this on and encourage the next generation to be protectors of our environment. 

Molly Hottman-modified

Molly Hottman
Certificate in Computing (Level 3)
Molly is studying computing while working part-time in a keyholder position within retail and parenting two young children, requiring lots of coordination of commitments and activities. 

Molly is extremely dedicated to her program of study, and her goal is to work her way through the Level 5 Certificate and Diploma, and ultimately the Level 7 Bachelor of Applied Information Technology. 

Molly is open about her strengths and struggles which creates a bridge of trust with her peers. She grows comradeship by listening and encouraging and sharing information. 

Molly has great empathy and feels genuinely upset when she sees others struggling. She looks for ways to support others and help them become absorbed in their activities and achieve successful outcomes. When she discovers something new, she shares it with her peers so they can become a stronger team together. She considers people’s different ways of learning and finds alternative ways of sharing information to suit people’s learning styles. 

She tries to put herself in the position of the person the project is geared towards, gaining ideas and inspiration from this perspective. She collaborates and reflects with others and is always open to push the creativity beyond her comfort zone.  

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