Jillian Tipene

Iwi: Te Rarawa (Te Uri o Hina), Ngāti Kahu (Ngāi Tohianga)

Qualifications: Te Tohu Paetahi/BA (Māori); Te Tītohu Whakamāori/PgDipInt&Trans; MA (Māori) (First Class Honours); PhD (Pending examination)

I came to Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao as a mature student with one specific goal – 'kia whakapakari, kia whakawhānui i tōku reo'. Five years working in Kōhanga Reo had laid the foundations; enrolling in Te Tohu Paetahi turned out to be the best possible next step in realising that goal, enabling me to expand and enrich my reo proficiency, both spoken and written. And so, a scholar was born! That passion for te reo introduced me to translation, and the specialised training offered within Te Pua Wānanga’s postgraduate diploma in interpreting and translating Māori, Te Tītohu Whakamāori. Going on to complete Masters and PhD degrees, under the guidance of top-class supervisors, was a natural extension of that training, equipping me to take a kaupapa I am passionate about – the translation of historical Māori manuscripts – and explore a range of the complex issues involved, from the local perspective, to the global perspective. In the process, my ability to think critically has been refined and my research skills consolidated. I feel confident in the value of my PhD research as contributing a unique, indigenous perspective to the international literature in my field, as well as here at home.

As the first person in my whānau to attend university, I have become a role model for my son, and my nieces and nephews, and normalised university study as a potential pathway for them. There have been challenges along the way: a major one being self-doubt, and also just feeling overwhelmed sometimes. Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao and the various support and development initiatives that are provided for Māori students – the Tātai Aronui student mentoring service; Te Toi o Matariki graduate network and MAI ki Waikato postgraduate network – have been invaluable sources of whanaungatanga, mentoring and inspiration. Te Pua Wānanga has been such an integral part of my life over the last nine years. At this point, I feel really grateful; I feel like a pūrerehua, ready to spread my wings, well-equipped, culturally and academically, to take on the world.

Nō reira, e aku nui, e aku rahi, me mihi ka tika ki te kura nei, ki Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, ā, ki ngā kaiako, ngā pūkenga, ngā kaiārahi hoki, koutou katoa i atawhai mai, i kaha poipoi mai i tēnei uri nō Muriwhenua i roto i ngā tau maha. He mihi mutunga kore ki a koutou. Tēnā koutou!