Toi Ohomai shines at Adult Learner Awards

Wednesday, 6 September, 2017
Toi Ohomai tutor, Dan Taylor, is awarded the Supreme Award for Exceptional Adult Educator by Mayor Greg Brownless. Photo credit: Seabird Productions.
Isaac Crowe (centre) was awarded the Supreme Award for Outstanding Adult Learner by Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless. Photo credit: Seabird Productions.

Toi Ohomai staff and students were honoured at the 19th annual Adult Learner Awards in Tauranga last night, receiving four out of the ten awards.

Held at the Tauranga City Council chambers, the awards were presented by Mayor Greg Brownless and celebrated excellence in the adult learning arena.

Dan Taylor, automotive tutor at Toi Ohomai, took out the supreme winner award in the Exceptional Adult Educator category. He said the win came as a huge surprise, but was a team effort. 

“It was amazing. I’m still in a bit of shock. I’ve had some awesome mentoring and teaching from people like Patti Spence (adult education tutor at Toi Ohomai), a group leader who lets me try new things in the classroom, and supportive colleagues. So even though I was up there getting the award I have a lot of people to thank for it.”

The supreme winner of the Outstanding Adult Learner Award was Isaac Crowe, a second year Bachelor of Creative Industries student, majoring in graphic design. Isaac has come from a teacher aide background but this is his first foray into formal tertiary training.

“My teacher aide contract ran out and I knew I had to do something. I was always telling the kids I worked with to get an education and I decided it was time for me to do the same.”

Sam Honey, Academic Advisor Teaching and Learning at Toi Ohomai, said learning success has a positive ripple effect through families and communities.

“Often adult learners have many other commitments in their lives; family and work being the top two, yet they see the importance of continuous learning for themselves and family.  Tonight’s ‘celebration of lifelong learning’, the theme for this year’s adult learner week, is one way to recognise their fantastic efforts and personal commitment.”

“The awards also recognise the passion and commitment of the many teachers and tutors who support adult learners through their successful learning journeys. The learners themselves recognise that it is their full support network that help them succeed, and along with families, their tutors are right beside them, guiding their progress.”

The full winners list includes:

Outstanding Adult Learner Award  
Supreme Winner: Isaac Crowe, Bachelor of Creative Industries student, Toi Ohomai
Runner-up: Candice Tangney, Bachelor of Community Health student, Toi Ohomai
Commendation: Rachel Morrison, Diploma in Marine Studies student, Toi Ohomai

Exceptional Adult Educators
Supreme Winner: Dan Taylor, Toi Ohomai
Runner-up: Jo Kemp, Toi Ohomai
Commendation: Leitta Erni, Gernius
Exceptional Adult Educator - Community Award: Stephen Wilson, French cooking tutor

Innovative Providers
Winner: Let’s Learn – Community Education in the Bay
Commendation: Gernius

Lifelong Learner Award
Lesley Monterio

Photos by Seabird Productions.