Tiri Bailey, who has iwi links with Te Atiawa Taranaki and Ngāi Tahu, is a resource teacher of Maori at Waitara East School in Taranaki.

At the recent NZEI Te Riu Roa annual conference in Rotorua, she was given one of the highest honours in the education sector.

“I feel very humble, and yet proud, to get this award,” Bailey says.

“It affects me personally but also acknowledges the work we do for Miro Māori and Māori education … we can’t do this work without the support of whānau and members.”

Bailey has been a passionate advocate for NZEI Te Riu Roa, supporting members industrially and professionally, since becoming a member of NZEI while attending Auckland Teachers College from 1970-72.

She became active in NZEI’s Miro Māori network where she took leadership roles to advance the cause for members and tamariki in education.

“It affects me personally but also acknowledges the work we do for Miro Māori and Māori education. We can’t do this work without the support of whānau and members. ”

Bailey has represented NZEI members in all major office positions in the Taranaki region and has been Taranaki representative on Te Reo Areare and in this role served as Kaihautū, during which time she represented Miro Māori at international educational forums.

She has also been on numerous working parties and committees through national executive.

NZEI president Louise Green says one of Bailey’s strengths is bringing people on board with her to support educational initiatives.

“She is renowned for her gentle ways in sharing tikanga Māori and why a Māori voice needs to be heard,’’ Green adds.

Scholarships for support staff and early childhood members were also announced at the annual NZEI Te Tiu Roa conference in late September.

Green presented the $5000 scholarships and announced five new associates of NZEI.

Support staff who were awarded the scholarships include Michelle Simms, library manager at Te Totara Primary School in Hamilton.

Simms is working on a project entitled How reading for pleasure can benefit students and librarians.

She intends to record and disseminate the latest international research on the academic benefits and increased empathy skills of students who read for pleasure, and to investigate how this might impact on the working conditions of school librarians.

Teacher aide Karyn Anne Humphries from Omata Primary School in New Plymouth has also been recognised.

Humphries project is to complete a post graduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (Autism Spectrum Disorder) through Massey University.

She will use theoretical and research-based study of specialist teaching to increase understanding of providing for learners with autism.

In early childhood education (ECE), two educators received scholarships including Kate McAnelly, a teacher at Kindergarten South in Invercargill.

McAnelly has been awarded the scholarship to complete her Master of Education dissertation entitled Achieving citizenship for all: How do people in a kindergarten support the active participation of a child with a disability and their family?

She will critically examine how a kindergarten community of learners best comes together to support the active participation of a disabled child and their family.

Pre-school manager at Auckland’s ACG Sunderland Preschool in Henderson, Mary Hardiman has been awarded the scholarship to carry out post-graduate research on the impact a qualified teaching team would have on the learning outcomes for children in ECE.

She will then develop strategies for teachers to communicate the importance of teacher training and knowledge for early childhood education.