Award for services to community education

AProf Sandy Morrison receives award

Associate Professor Sandy Morrison (centre) receiving her Tangata Whenua award from the co-chairs of ACE -  Wendel Richardson (left) and Charissa Waerea.

SMPD’s Associate Professor Sandy Morrison flew in from an international conference in Berlin, attended an iwi meeting in Rotorua and whizzed down to Wellington to pick up the Tangata Whenua Member of the Year award given by Adult and Community Education (ACE).

Sandy had been in Berlin because she’s President of the International Council of Adult Education and was attending the 14th Adult Education Conference there. She was in top company, sitting in the same row as the German President Joachim Gauck and other government ministers.

“But back in New Zealand, I think my ACE award is community acknowledgement of the adult education work I do in New Zealand and internationally, so it’s very nice to receive it,” Sandy says.

The ACE website is more expansive, saying the award is for “outstanding service in, and contribution to, the development of the ACE sector.  It is intended to be a tribute for outstanding work in governance, policy development, training, administration, or a combination of these.”

Sandy has worked in the adult education sector for nearly 20 years. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, education needs to be addressed as part of community development and it’s important to me to be a part of that.

“And communities directing their own way and taking charge of their own learning synergises with Māori development modes, so of course I can find connection in the concept and practice of it.”

Sandy says it was interesting to see how the Germans were approaching community education in response to the influx of refugees there. “They are putting resources into communities so new migrants and refugees can access learning, the language and culture, which will help them integrate and apply for jobs. The challenge is to help them build cohesive communities amongst themselves and at the same time assist them to blend in.”