Contributors: Vol 5, No 2 - Nov 2017

Carla Keighron is a senior lecturer in teaching and learning at New Zealand Tertiary College.  During her seven years at the college she has continued to share her passion for supporting students in the sector to understand bicultural development.  

Cindy Hawkins holds a Bachelor of Education - Early Years (0-8) from Massey University.  Cindy is a teacher in mainstream Education and Care at Pitter Patter Education Centre, Feilding, Manawatu. Cindy is passionate about working alongside Māori learners and their whanau to meet their needs and aspirations.  She is also interested in the field of leadership and has organised a local networking meeting for mainstream educators as well as administering an online networking group for Early Childhood Educators to reflect on bicultural commitment.

Dr Diane Gordon-Burns Ngāti Mahuta from Waikato iwi. Diane lives and works from her home base in the Southern Alps of the South Island where she writes, researches and publishes. Social justice issues from a womanist perspective are at the heart of most of her writing. Diane is concerned by the notion that children, during their school education, have access to a mostly unexamined, uncritical New Zealand history that has primarily been presented through a patriarchal canon. Diane's critique of history from her womanist lens disrupts and restorys her iwi histories.

Fiona Woodgate taught in early childhood education for eleven years prior to becoming a lecturer in early childhood education at New Zealand Tertiary College in 2016.  Through her experiences in teaching and holding a range of formal and informal leadership roles, Fiona has developed a strong professional interest and passion for ensuring quality learning outcomes for children through supporting the development and learning of quality teachers.

Hoana McMillan is a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Her research interests are focused on Māori education, in particular kōhunganga and what success might look like for Māori tamariki and their whanau. (

Leeanne Marie Campbell Ko Ngāti Hine te iwi - Ngati Te Tarawa te hapū - Manu Koriki te whare -Motatau te  whenua
Until recently Leeanne tutored at Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College in Christchurch. Currently Leeanne is an Early Childhood Professional Development provider. In that role Leeanne supports bicultural development in centres throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. Formerly an early childhood and primary teacher, Leeanne’s research interests include inclusive education and social justice from a bicultural/bilingual (including teachers’ beliefs and practices) perspective.

Marjolein Whyte came 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 with New Zealand Tertiary College 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.

Michelle Conole Michelle’s real interest in teaching and learning developed with her own children growing up in those early years and “followed" them to school. She was interested in knowing what went out at school so offered to be Mother Help at every opportunity and used take the children for art workshops within her children’s classrooms.  When an opportunity arose for mature students to train with Waikato University for a Bachelor of Teaching (primary) distance learning, Michelle jumped at the chance.  While she loved teaching middle school (7-8 year olds) after some years Michelle started to question why some children had lost interest in learning at such a young age and this lead her to go back to study with Auckland University for a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (early childhood).  Being involved in infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s learning fascinated Michelle and she could see that the foundation stones of learning started long before the children reached primary school age.   After working in early childhood she later took a position teaching adults who are working for their own Bachelor of Teaching (early childhood) and after all these years Michelle can still say she loves her job. 

Mihi Harrington’s childhood journey began in 1982 when Te Kohanga Reo down town Wellington was the first Kohanga reo in the Wellington city and also the first Kohanga Reo to be registered with the Department of Social Welfare. Mihi and a Kohanga reo kaiako were the first kohanga reo members to be trained in early childhood by New Zealand Childhood Association. Mihi completed her training and studied at The Wellington Teachers Training College and on completion was approached by New Zealand Child Care Association to apply to become a lecturer. Mihi has enjoyed addressing the many issue of being a bicultural teacher and apply knowledge of te reo and the importance of te reo Māpori me öna tikanga in early childhood education delivery. At times has found this challenging but very satisfying. Mihi considers herself to be a reflective practitioner and a lifelong learner. Every year she discusses why being bilingual and bicultural is of such importance. 

Dr Nuhisifa Seve-Williams was born in the island of Niue but raised in New Zealand. Nuhisifa completed a PhD in education sociology from the University in Auckland in 2009 and worked for a number of years in the health sector. In 2016, Nuhi joined the New Zealand Tertiary College as the Research Manager. 

Orlene D’Cunha currently works as an early childhood teacher in Auckland. She came to New Zealand in July, 2016 to study the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) through New Zealand Tertiary College and is currently awaiting her results for the completion of her course. Her love for nature and horses is what led her to New Zealand of all other countries to study early childhood education. Orlene has worked as a GIS software developer but her passion and love for children drove her to taking up the course and making early childhood education her profession. Supporting children in their learning and believing that we have the power to make a change and have an impact on the lives of children is what motivates Orlene to provide the best for children in their everyday experience through education.

Ra Keelan continues to lecture and assess within early childhood education for New Zealand Tertiary College, and is primarily involved in supporting student teachers in the areas of Te Ao Māori, bicultural and multicultural development, and field practice.  His current research interest focuses on exploring where and how indigenous knowledge fits within modern education.

Rawhia Te Hau-Grant has been a team–trainer educator, a teacher and for the last 5 years a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology on an initial teaching programme.  Her research interests are focused on Māori education - in particular what facilitates success for Māori students within different tertiary contexts. (

Robyn Chaffey became interested in early childhood with the arrival of her own children. This led to fifteen years in Play Centre in various roles including supervisor.  Te Kohanga Reo arrived and Robyn became involved with this movement for seven years. Moving from a small rural inland town to a city coincided with her own four children being at school and this gave her a chance to become a preschool community officer where one of the roles was to introduce Te Whāriki to rural whānua led services. During these years Robyn studied extramurally and the move to being an educator on the floor at an early childhood centre seemed logical. She continued with study and as an early childhood teacher for the next decade and then moved to teaching adults to gain early childhood qualification. Robyn is still fascinated by the early childhood years and passionate about the right for children to have the best educational and care experiences possible.

Roimata Rokx is a lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College, Auckland. Growing up, Roimata was nurtured within a strong Māori context, whereby whānau played a significant role in shaping who she is today as a Māori woman. Since completing her studies in early childhood education, Roimata has continued to develop her passion towards embracing kaupapa Māori in early childhood education, whilst supporting early childhood teachers and their journey towards promoting te reo Māori in practice.

Sue Werry is a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Her research interests include: treaty based practice, supporting student teachers’ development and use of te reo Māori, mathematics in ECE, increasing child and whānau voice in assessment. (