Seeking Educational Success - Talei Morrison
“Nervous, but very happy” was how Talei Morrison of Ngati Rarua felt when she took to the podium at the 8th International Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference in Vienna. Alongside her were Waikato University colleagues Professor Debashish Munshi, Dr Praia Kurian, and (Talei’s mother) Sandy Morrison, Senior Lecturer/Pukenga Matua at the School of Maori and Pacific Development.
Talei’s paper, titled “Redesigning the architecture of policy making: Engaging with Māori on Nanotechnology in NZ", was clearly well received.
“The international audience, who represented a very western European view of the world, were very engaged. They seemed really interested to hear an indigenous perspective on what’s happening on this side of the world, and it was great to be able to share our culture with them.”
Talei’s decision to pursue the research, part of her Masters of Educational Leadership, was driven by concern about how and why the mainstream education system is failing Māori students.
“I want to help develop education models that are more successful for Māori. My aim is to help Maori students enter the work force well prepared, both for economic success and cultural sustainability.”
Receiving an NRAIT postgraduate scholarship to help cover study costs has deepened Talei’s commitment both to making a difference in Maori education and staying connected with the NRAIT whanau.
“Getting help from NRAIT makes me want to return the favour. And I’ll always give back where I can – whether it’s through my research, my mahi, or through my cultural practises, what matters most to me is the longevity of our people and our resource base.”
Talei wants to encourage other NRAIT members to be ambitious educationally.
“Don’t settle for mediocrity. Support is available if you ask for it, and it could be the key to your contribution to ensuring our success and our cultural sustainability.”