Te Kura's National Lead for Leaving to Learn wins Australasian Leadership Excellence Award

Trudy Harrison, National Lead for Leaving to Learn, has won a Leadership Excellence Award from the Australasian Association of Distance Education Schools (AADES) for outstanding innovation and engagement with Te Kura’s school community.

Trudy was nominated for her inclusive and visionary approach to a range of initiatives, including leading the design and development of My Korowai, a custom-built online platform that supports ākonga (students) to share, develop and reflect on their goals and their learning, and her implementation of Inspiring the Future events at Te Kura, where our ākonga have been able to hear about and be inspired by volunteer role models, learn about different jobs and why people love doing them, as well as their pathways and challenges they faced along the way.

Chief Executive Mike Hollings says that the platform has been a game-changer for Te Kura. “My Korowai enables us to develop dynamic, personalised learning programmes which are relevant to a wide range of ākonga. Working alongside kaimahi (staff) from across the school, Trudy has provided exemplary leadership through all aspects and iterations of the platform, with the overall goal of putting ākonga and whānau at the centre of their learning.”

Trudy also works closely with kaimanaaki (learning advisors) to implement Te Kura’s Leaving to Learn programme, which embodies our belief that ākonga can have valuable learning experiences anytime, anywhere. Learning happens when ākonga are in the classroom, but also when they are spending time with whānau or out in the community.

Mike says that Leaving to Learn is an integral element of Te Ara Pounamu, Te Kura’s local curriculum. “We encourage all ākonga to learn through their interests and through their local community. These experiences provide an important foundation for ākonga to extend their learning, pick up new skills and explore their future pathways.”

This year, Te Kura has designated 2022 as the Year of the Internship, with a focus on placing ākonga in shadowing roles and internships where they can continue their learning, gain experience and qualifications, and explore their career options.

Trudy was presented her award on Tuesday, 9 August at the biennial AADES conference in Adelaide, where she also facilitated a workshop on making connections with learners and inspiring future pathways.