Timote Vaioleti: 2020 Award for Member of the year Tangata Tiriti

The 2020 ACE Aotearoa Annual Award for Member of the Year Tangata Tiriti has been awarded to Timote Vaioleti.

Dr Timote M. Vaioleti is a leading scholar who has always been steadfastly committed to adult and community education particularly in enhancing the educational experiences of Pacific learners both in formal, non-formal and community education. He is the personification of lifelong learning having been a learner, teacher, instructor of apprentices, vocational adviser, teacher educator, mentor, development practitioner, and policy adviser. Throughout his career, he has not relinquished his “fatongia,” his cultural and spiritual obligations to his people. He is a strong advocate for embedding cultural concepts into any learning relationship and the environment where the learning is taking place, describing the process as weaving a garland out of the concepts to help steer the learning.

He has represented the Pacific on many ministerial committees, including the ACE Reference Group, the ACE Professional Development Group and the ACE Innovation Funding Group. All these groups set the policy foundation and operational mechanisms for the ACE sector which is visible today. From this early work, he (with others) advocated for the Hui/Fono which is held annually today. His vision did not just stop at these national efforts; he founded a regional organisation called IMPAECT* (Indigenous Māori and Pacific Adult Education Charitable Trust) which is involved in community development, education for sustainable development, climate change work in NZ, Tonga, Kiribati and Samoa. Over the last ten years, this work extended to conducting ACE work in Tonga.

Dr Vaioleti served two terms as the elected South Pacific member to the Executive Council of ASPBAE which advocates for education as a human right. He also developed the Talanoa Research Methodology, the most accepted Pacific methodology by Pacific academics within tertiary institutions in New Zealand, Tonga, and other nations of the Pacific. In 2012, he was admitted to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. He remains the only person of Pacific descent within this esteemed Hall.