Adult and Community Education Aotearoa Annual Awards 2023

We are honoured and delighted to commemorate the individuals and programmes that have played a significant role in the transformation of Aotearoa by nurturing flourishing communities. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following individuals and organisations for their outstanding achievements. It is truly wonderful to have the opportunity to recognise the exceptional work carried out on behalf of adult learners across Aotearoa.

Anne-Marie Rose: 2023 Educator of the year Tangata Tiriti

Anne-Marie Rose is an exceptional and highly valued colleague at the Hagley Adult Literacy Centre (HALC), where she wears multiple hats with great competence. As a tutor, mentor, ACE Assistant, and Volunteer Coordinator, she manages these roles admirably. Anne-Marie initially joined HALC in 2010 as a tutor for the First Steps to Literacy course, which she taught for 11 years until late 2021. This course focuses on providing learning opportunities for individuals with intellectual impairments and mental health issues.

Jade Ward: 2023 Educator of the year Tangata Whenua

Jade Ward, a former schoolteacher hailing from Tainui, is now the driving force behind her own community education organisation located just outside Invercargill. In late 2020, she established the Reigning Downs Hauora Centre with the aim of assisting students of all ages, including NCEA students, who are struggling academically. The centre focuses on nurturing the five key competencies outlined in the NZ Curriculum, which Jade believes are crucial for success.

First Steps to Literacy: 2023 Community Programme of the Year Tangata Tiriti

The dedicated team at Hagley Adult Literacy Centre (HALC) in Ōtautahi Christchurch is deeply committed to delivering excellence in adult education. Through their wide range of community education programmes, they have fostered a learner-centred environment where learners not only achieve their goals but also feel a sense of belonging to a supportive community.

Mana Rangatahi Programme INNOV8HQ: 2023 Community Programme of the Year Tangata Whenua

The Mana Rangatahi programme, created by Heidi Renata, co-founder and CEO of INNOV8HQ based in Dunedin, has empowered over 150 individuals aged 18 to 24 to discover their own pathways. Utilising the Mātauranga Māori framework called "Ko Wai Au? Who am I?", participants have found their way towards entrepreneurship, further education, employment, or becoming youth leaders and ambassadors. As leaders, they engage in public speaking, hosting events like Youth Leadership, and participating in university and council meetings.

Wendel Karati: 2023 ACE Aotearoa Member of the Year Tangata Tiriti

Wendel Karaiti dedicated many years of exceptional service as the Education Manager at REAP Wairarapa. With an intimate understanding of her community, Wendel possessed a remarkable ability to bring people together. Whether working with young mothers, at-risk youth, or older learners, she was solution-focused, always finding ways to meet the needs of the community.

Ngarau Tarawa: 2023 ACE Aotearoa Member of the Year Tangata Whenua

Ngarau Tarawa was founder and Chief Executive of Te Waka Pu Whenua, Māori Adult and Community Education Centre, Taumarunui. She is a passionate community educator who has also been involved with many adult education organisations, including as executive member of the National REAP Association and as a panel member of Community Learning Aotearoa.