Health and Wellbeing tutor Vijay Pillay of NZSE has won the Le Moana Mua Award as part of Te Whatu Kairangi, the Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Awards 2023.
Te Whatu Kairangi recognises tertiary educators making an impact on their learners and in the community, and these awards are highly recognised in the education and training sector in Aotearoa. Le Moana Mua is the award that celebrates outstanding Pasifika tutors who bring their culture into learning environments and support Pasifika learners.
NZSE is dedicated to nurturing the potential of its learners, including the Pasifika community. We provide settings for Pasifika students to rise up to their full potential by providing a student centric approach in and out of the classroom. Vijay is one such tutor who is especially dedicated to this approach, coming from a Pasifika background herself.
Vijay is originally from Fiji and has been a valued member of the teaching staff at NZSE since she started in 2020. She weaves cultural practice and awareness into her teaching and ensures Pasifika students are respected and included. She has won the Outstanding Tutor Award twice at NZSE for her phemonmenal contributions in supporting our Pasifika learners in achieving success. As one learner commented on “Her ability to sense if one of us was struggling, and she would step in to help, not only in class but with our daily personal lives as well.”
Academic Director Neel Pandey has seen Vijay go out of her way to help her learners. “She truly works from her heart and creates a family-like environment, embedding the fonofale model of teaching. No learner is left behind in Vijay’s class.”
She has also spread her influence in the wider community through advocating for and training Pacific peoples in the health industry, from high school students to healthcare workers. As Ako Aotearoa stated, “Her dedication to Pacific student success and commitment to improving as an educator has gained her recognition as a phenomenal educator by the review panel.”
We are both so proud of Vijay for receiving this award and blessed to have her transforming lives through the power of learning at NZSE and beyond. Congratulations, Vijay!