Tui Ora kaimahi Linda McCulloch and Keri Opai were honoured last month to visit WITT Te Pukenga and anounce Te Māra Kūmara a Rākeiora Scholarship to the second year nursing students. The students have almost finished up the semester and were eager toget together and see what the scholarship options are for next year as a part of their prizegiving ceremony.
The scholarship was previously annouced in honour of former Tui Ora CE Hayden Wano and will be awarded every two years to a WITT student who wishes to begin their mahi in mental health nursing.
Keri began by explaining the name of the scholarship, and its significance to the kaupapa it encompasses.
“The name ‘Te Māra Kūmara a Rākeiora’ of the scholarship acknowledges the attributes of Rākeiora, a tohunga of the Tokomaru waka. He possessed many skills and was known as an expert for growing kūmara. Kūmara was the staple diet that provided sustenance for the people to, not only survive, but to be in good health and prosper. Likened to Rākeiora, this scholarship acknowledges Hayden Wano’s contribution to grow the Māori Health Services and Health Workforce in Taranaki to assist to reduce the inequity in Māori Health across our Region and bring wellbeing to our community”.
Te Māra Kūmara a Rākeiora, can be seen as a pattern of long streaky clouds similar to the striations in the earth from a kūmara garden. This formation is a sign of potential, of the will to work hard, of probable success in new endeavours and the wellbeing of the people. This is aligned to the kaupapa of Tui Ora and reflective of the foundation that Hayden Wano has contributed to ‘growing our kaimahi to work alongside our whanau’.
Linda then took to the stage and reiterated the significance of the mahi in this space, shedding some light on her own journey in working in this space and some background on the scholarship
“Mental health is always something I was really interested in. I like the intellect of it, and you form lasting relationships with your kaimahi and colleagues and the whanau that you work with. We’re really excited to launch this scholarship in honour of Hayden Wano. You may or may not know him, but he’s done lots of mahi here in Taranaki in terms of mental health and Māori health, and was one of the people that pushed for Māori Health providers. This scholarship, and the name it carries reflects the mahi that he and others have done”.
The scholarship includes:
- Fees paid for third year of the nursing programme
- Two years emploment with us in The Oranga Hinengaro Team
- Mentoring and coaching from kaimahi and access to continuing education
There was a chorus of audible “ooooh”’s from the audience when the free fees and two years postgrad employment were mentioned, and a lot of faces that lit up in interest. A good sign! Although the presentation lasted less than 15 minutes, it is clear that Hayden has left an indelible mark on the nursing whānau within Taranaki, and as an organisation it is our pleasure to honour and pass the torch to a new generation of nurses.