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Faculty of Education and Social Work

International Pasifika ECE conference - Voyaging the Oceanic Terrains: Sustainability in Pasifika ECE

Dr Diane Mara: Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Social Studies Chair NZ

Dr Diane MaraDr Diane Mara received the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for her services to the Pacific Islands communities. Dr Mara has contributed to teacher education and educational research for more than 35 years. She currently is the UNESCO New Zealand National Commissioner for Social Sciences. She has been a primary school teacher, senior lecturer in teacher education, senior policy analsyst and has worked to improve educational outcomes for Māori and Pacific Island children and women. She has researched many aspects of Pasifika education. Dr Mara is the Leader Education Delivery at the Hastings site for Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand.




Keynote Address

Voyaging the Oceanic Terrains: Sustainability Within

Exploration, migration and survival across vast distances have for centuries characterised the sustainability of Pacific epistemologies and Pacific communities. Environmental, ideological, cultural reproduction and linguistic maintenance and revival are just some of the trends and issues we have negotiated our journeys. This keynote is a retrospective analysis of what has challenged the Pasifika ECE sector in Aotearoa New Zealand in the past 20 years as we voyaged together. It is important to celebrate what have been our strengths and what have been our means of sustainability through the ever-changing currents and waves of early childhood educational policy contexts. We can then contemplate the fact that Pasifika ECE has an exciting future ahead that reaches across the entire Pacific region where new collaborations are possible and the achievement of greater autonomy and self-determination through new technologies can occur. Pacific children and their families deserve quality early childhood education and this keynote concludes by re-stating what Pacific communities define as "quality" that will provision us for new voyages and new possibilities.