Waikato-Tainui College

Tere Ngaawai Gilbert

Iwi affiliations: Ngaati Kahungunu, Te Ati Awa

Other qualifications: PG Dip Education, BTchg (Early Childhood)

Tere has a love of being around children, so after starting a family, she became involved in Koohanga Reo, initially as a mother, and then moved towards kaiaawhina through to Kaiako Matua. Tere’s quest for knowledge and qualifications meant studying for her teaching qualifications with a growing family of 7 children. She has since established a kaupapa Maaori Out of School Care and Recreation programme (OSCAR) and extended her koohanga extensively in order to address a community need. Her current projects involve advocacy for whaanau that are committed to sustaining Te Reo Maaori through initiatives that are innovative and future focused.

Tere chose to pursue her studies due to her passion for growth and development for both her koohanga whaanau, and her own professional development.

"I had been working in a management role for a few years and decided it was time to broaden my knowledge of management and grow my leadership skills so that I can share and help others” says Tere.

"I was drawn to the Waikato MBA at the Waikato-Tainui College because of its focus on Maaori students. As a person working in a kaupapa Maaori environment, I felt this MBA would support our ways of learning, gaining and sharing knowledge.”

Tere believes that although the MBA journey was extremely challenging at times, it is immensely rewarding.

"The knowledge gained and experiences along the way are firmly placed in both my kete maatauranga (knowledge basket) and my heart” says Tere.