Tangi Walker

Bachelor of Social Work

Social Work

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Social Work

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga

When Tangi left school at 15 she had no plans to return. She had her first educational challenge when she home-schooled her kids “out of necessity because the schools were too full at the time.” Tangi continued teaching her children right up to tertiary level, when they each peeled off to do their studies.

Tangi took one of her sons to enrol into the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Tioriori (music) course and while in the student services office she saw a flyer for Kahikatea (Social Services certificate) and something clicked. She thought, “Why can’t I can do that?” She completed the six-month course and then applied to study the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at the University of Waikato.

With the unwavering support of her husband John and family, Tangi juggled home life with student life. She admits it wasn’t a walk in the park. “The first year of the degree, I felt like I was in a washing machine. I had to learn the academic speak, I would write down things I didn’t understand and Google them later. Google was my saviour,” she laughs.

After graduating, Tangi started working for Auckland-based organisation, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), when it set up a new service in Te Puke.“The Bachelor of Social Work prepared me to look through a social work lens which broadened my understanding and allowed me to explore why, when and what may be needed when trying to solve a problem,” she says.

Happy in her work, Tangi recommends the Bachelor of Social Work to anyone looking to work in a helping profession and especially encourages mature students.“It’s scary but then you realise that everyone is scared. It’s not all school leavers, there are lots of adult students too.”

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