Contributors: Vol 5, No 1 - May 2017

Anita Croft taught in early childhood for six years before becoming a lecturer in tertiary education. Anita has a strong professional interest in early childhood education for sustainability and completed her Master of Education in 2016. The title of her thesis was Pre-service Early Childhood Teachers’ Preparedness to Teach Education for Sustainability. Anita is a member of the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education.

Barbara Scanlan grew up in Austria and has been engaged in early childhood education for the past 17 years in roles ranging from teacher, mentor and centre manager in Austria, Scotland and in New Zealand. Barbara has completed her Master’s degree on Deleuzian philosophy as a working theory for pedagogy in early childhood education .

Gail Pierce completed her studies in 2014 with a dissertation that focused on the unique challenges of leading from a distance in the context of a large, geographically dispersed early childhood organisation. She has worked within the early childhood community for the past 30 years.

Helen Wrightsonhas worked in early childhood education in a variety of leadership roles over the past 35 years. Helen’s introduction to early childhood education was in Playcentre. Their philosophical understandings about community and shared leadership continue to influence her current views of leadership and implementing leading practices in early childhood education. Kaupapa Māori principles of leadership inform Helen’s practice too and understanding the importance of whanaungatanga and taking responsibility in making a contribution to team in which she works.

Jacoba Matapois of Samoan Dutch heritage, born and raised in Aoteroa/New Zealand. Jacoba has traversed a range of leadership roles in her professional career, including centre management positions in early childhood education and program leadership in tertiary teacher education. Jacoba’s love for learning and community engagement has supported her work in research through arts based practices in early childhood education to Pasifika leadership and pedagogy. Jacoba's current doctoral research locates her work within diasporic multiplicities, attempting to re-imagine Pasifika leadership as a cultural and collective political act. 

Jacqui Brouwer is currently completing her Master of Education at Waikato University. Her research interests are on building bilingual capacity within English medium education. She is also a facilitator with Ngahihi Inc supporting understanding for Te Whatu Pokeka.

Julie Treweek recently completed her Master of Educational Leadership which had a social justice lens and a focus on the voice of children as leaders. She has been involved in early childhood education for 34 years and also has a Diploma in Early Intervention.

Lee-Anne Turton has worked in a range of team based education settings, focused on early childhood education, for the last 24 years. In 2006 Lee-Anne returned to study, a Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management  and in 2015 completed her Master of Education through which she researched early childhood visual arts and learning communities, through arts based research.

Luis Hernandezis an active member of many professional organisations that support children and family interests. He is active in the accreditation process with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, where he is also creating professional and leadership development opportunities. Luis writes for Child Care Information Exchange and is a frequent keynote speaker at national, state, and local conferences. He holds a Master’s degree in bilingual/multicultural education.

Manutai Leaupepe is of Cook Islands, Tahitian and Kiribati heritage.. With 15 years of teaching experience in private, state and community based services and 14 years in teacher education, Manutai has enjoyed working alongside teachers, young children and their families and continues her work within Pasifika ECE communities in New Zealand and the Pacific. Her proposed doctoral studies will investigate effective leadership in Pasifika ECE teacher education and the associations this has for student outcomes.

Marjolein Whytecame to New Zealand from the Netherlands 25 years ago as a social worker, working for Barnardos foster care. She retrained as a primary school teacher and early childhood teacher through the University of Auckland. Marjolein has worked in the early childhood sector as a Head-Teacher for over ten years and has been a lecturer in tertiary education for seven years. She has completed postgraduate papers and Master’s thesis with the University of Auckland in the areas of Leadership, Early Development, Literacy and Research. Her Master’s thesis was on parent involvement in assessment for learning in early childhood education.

Nicolette Mackwoodgraduated with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in 2012, from New Zealand Tertiary College, receiving a special commendation for Excellence in Practice. This fuelled her passion for quality teaching in rich learning environments. With the vision to share her knowledge, experience and passion, Nicolette enrolled to study for her Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) with New Zealand Tertiary College to extend her knowledge, skills and confidence in working with adults. She is currently developing a forum to share.

Robyn Chaffey became interested in early childhood with the arrival of her own children. This led to fifteen years in the Play Centre sector in various roles including supervisor. With the arrival of Te Kohanga Reo, Robyn became involved with this movement for seven years. Moving from a small rural inland town to a city coincided with her children going to primary school, gave her the opportunity to become a preschool community officer where one of the roles was to introduce Te Whāriki to rural whānua led services.. For the next decade, Robyn continued with her studies as well as being an early childhood teacher. She then moved to teaching adults in their pursuit of attaining early childhood qualifications.

Tania van Niekerk is an early childhood teacher living and working in Napier. Tania moved to New Zealand with her husband and two children in 2009, and since then has completed the Bachelor of Teaching degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education through the New Zealand Tertiary College. She is currently working towards the Master of Early Childhood Education, which is undeniably enriching her funds of knowledge and experience in the profession.

Tristan Wallace has 35 years’ experience in early childhood education, and has mentored students, teachers and leaders. The focus of her professional life is building capacity in teachers and leaders to provide the best possible positive outcomes for children and their whānau.