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In recognition of valued service to the educational emancipation movement for Indigenous peoples and the pursuit of dignity, well-being and the reaffirmation that Indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights are free from discrimination.

Circle of Honours

Elders of Indigenous Wisdom

Uncle Norm Clarke

As a well-known Aboriginal Elder passionate about improving the many issues Aboriginal people face today, Uncle Norm has always quietly gone about his business, working tirelessly with many different organisations and communities. He is a well-known workshop facilitator and trainer, delivering Nationally Accredited training courses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Uncle Norm was a Presiding Indigenous Representative on the children's Murri Court and is a well-respected presiding Elder on the Murri Court located at Cleveland, Queensland and Wynnum, Queensland. Uncle Norm Clarke has been a member of various advisory groups, including the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council in 2008; and was appointed as a member on the Board for Project 10% (Reducing Imprisonment, Improving Lives).

He is also very passionate about and committed to the issue of Indigenous driver licensing and works with the Queensland Police Service who have trained him to facilitate pertinent Aboriginal Learner's Licenses workshops to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

As the organisations have grown within this community, Uncle Norm continues to educate and guide the younger generations on what it means to be a well-respected Elder and has inspired many of our people to never give up and to help people.

He epitomizes leadership, and what it is to be an Elder. Uncle Norm Clarke continues to spread inspiration throughout many Aboriginal communities and continues to educate others to give back and pay it forward. He is willing to pitch in for the good of the community regardless of the mission and through many changes within the COOEE and the Bayside Community Justice Group over the years.

Uncle Norm has consistently made a difference in client’s lives, in the local community, and has positively impacted our people state-wide. His skills, knowledge, wisdom, willingness to help others, and his dedication to Aboriginal people and others make him the perfect candidate for the Elders of Indigenous Wisdom Award.

Tā Tipene O’Regan (Ngāi Tahu Settlement)

Tipene was born in Wellington before moving as a child to the South Island. He is a member of Ngai Tahu and is of Māori and Irish decent. He is best known for his role as the long-serving Chairman of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board leading the Ngāi Tahu Claim process before the Waitangi Tribunal; ultimately leading to the Ngāi Tahu Settlement.

He was also the founding Chairman of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. His scholarly interests are in traditional history and ethnology of Ngāi Tahu and Te Waipounamu and general New Zealand history. In 1985, he was appointed to the New Zealand Geographic Board serving as the longest member for 28 years. In 2012, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu established Te Pae Kōrako, the Ngāi Tahu Archive Advisory Committee to ensure that their history, language, traditions, identity, and knowledge are protected, well managed and accessible.

Tipene received a Meritorious Doctorate in 1992 from the University of Canterbury where he is now an Associate Lecturer and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori). He is also a Director of Milford Dart Ltd. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1994 and in 2019 made a Companion of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi, DNZM MBE (Kōhanga Reo & Māori Language)

Iritana was born in Hick’s Bay and is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngā Puhi, Canadian and English descent. She has been one of the “cornerstones” of the Kōhanga Reo Movement and for reversing the decline in Māori language. In 1982, she was appointed as an inaugural Trustee and General Manager of the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board.

She was a part of a ministerial working group for the development of Te Whāriki: The Ministry of Education early childhood curriculum. She is involved with a variety of community organizations spanning the Māori Performing Arts, Māori Women’s Welfare League, and New Zealand Māori Gold Association. Receiving a Meritorious Doctorate from the University of Victoria and Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi by Creative New Zealand, Iritana was appointed to as Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services in Māori Education in 2009.

Wiki Wira Noko (Wetere) Henskes (Māori Women’s Rights & Māori Education)

She is the eldest daughter of the late Kingi Patrick Wetere, a prominent Maniapoto leader and mother, Ruihi (nee Batley) Maniapoto/Ngāti Tama and English. Educated at Waikato Diocesan Girls College and graduate of Brain’s Business College. In the 1980’s, she established the Mangere Campus and Waipareira Helensville Campus for Aotearoa Institute to educate and train Māori adult students who had wanted to enter post-secondary or training programs to gain employment.

Later, she was instrumental in establishing the main Auckland Campus for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Over four decades, Wiki was a long-time service member of Māori Women’s Welfare League in Aotearoa, fighting for Māori Women’s Rights and an accomplished researcher and author of Wetere Taniora Whakapapa and Tainui history and contributions.

As a part of her commitment to Māori history and culture she helped to coordinate the building of three major waka taua for the Treaty of Waitangi Centennial: 37 metre, Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi o Ngāti Whatua with 100 paddlers, Te Kotuiti o Ngāti Paoa with 50 paddlers and Te Kawau Mārō o Ngāti Maniapoto with 50 paddlers. Wiki has three children, Shona, William and Vaughn and several Mokopuna (Grandchildren).

Service to Indigenous Education

Uncle Barry Malezer

Uncle Barry Malezer has dedicated many of his years in Indigenous education, working locally, rurally, and remotely in schools, cultural centres and Aboriginal communities. It truly is a credit to all the important service of delivery education programs Uncle Barry Malezer has been involved in, to further help progress the education requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities.

Presently Uncle Barry works with the Bayside Community Justice Group and COOEE as the Chair; he is also an Elder In Residence at COOEE. Uncle Barry has spent his life working in community and alongside numerous community organizations, offering his leadership, time, expertise, and support. As a qualified Manual Arts Teacher and Cultural Educator, Uncle Barry spent much of his life teaching and supporting both juveniles and adults in further education. Along with other teaching positions, for over 15 years Uncle Barry worked in the GUMURRII Centre at Griffith University, teaching, guiding, and supporting First Nations students through their university journey.

During this time, he continued to go above and beyond his regular duties to ensure that First Nations students were supported, often opening his home up to those that needed a place to stay or a good hearty meal. Uncle Barry is still the cultural educator that is forever present in our lives and in the lives of many, he continues to support and assist juveniles and community members wherever he can.

He continues to open his home up to those that need a place stay, he is still providing assistance to those that need a feed and continues to educate, support and care for all those around him. Uncle Barry was nominated in early 2021 to be the Deputy Chair of the Donald Simpson Centre, which offers more than 40 different types of activities during the week to provide informative and educational sessions to enable thoughtful preparation for, and experience of, a healthy and enjoyable quality of life. This nomination was pertinent and requested by the Chair of the Donald Simpson Centre to help bridge, strengthen, and help flourish bridges of reconciliation.

Uncle Barry also played a huge part in Reconciliation Queensland. Uncle Barry epitomizes leadership and what it is to be an Aboriginal Elder, he always has a great sense of humor which helps lift the moral of staff and service providers. He continues to inspire a love of learning to those around him and inspires us to never stop giving and to never stop helping those that need it and to always pay it forward.

Uncle Barry is willing to pitch in for the good of the community regardless of the mission and through many changes within the Bayside Community Justice Group and COOEE over the years; Uncle Barry has consistently made a difference in client’s lives, in the local community, and has positively impacted all those around him. His skills, knowledge, willingness to help others, and his dedication to his people make him the perfect candidate for the WINHEC Circle of Honours, category Service to Indigenous Education award.

Uncle Barry wrote and dedicated a song to all the Aboriginal women, ‘She’s Strong and Black’ about Aboriginal women who have struggled and fought hard for change as they cared for their families, Uncle Barry wrote this in recognition of their strength and beauty. See video below.

Mathis P Bongo

Mr Mathis Persen Bongo has put great effort in providing Sámi education of high quality both for Sámi pupils in compulsory school and for Sámi students in higher education. Especially education given in Sámi languages, and about Sámi traditional knowledge has been in the focus for his research and development.

He has during his employment at Sámi Allaskuvla – Sámi University of Applied Sciences been working with developing education that give Sámi teachers education in using digital resources in to the classroom education. Sámi schools has all the time education has been given in Sámi languages struggled with the lack of learning materials in Sámi languages. Mathis Bongo has been central in giving pedagogy education both to trained teachers and teacher students education to make relevant teaching materials that are up to date.

Mathis Bongo has also used put effort in developing models for distance education in Sámi language, that is grounded in Sámi language and tradition and in the curriculas. For this his has also received an award.

Mathis Bongo has also developed and made research on how to make flexible education models specially adapted for Sámi traditional reindeer herders who has their main work field on the tundra, but want to take higher education on Sámi University of Applied Sciences. The traditional reindeer herders need flexibility both on how they follow the lectures and study since they most of the time live near the reindeer herds, and migrate for summer grazing lands to winter grazing lands during the year. Therefore they need the flexibility to study wherever they are and on flexible time schedules. Bongos model shows how it is possible to make flexible education especially for indigenous students.

Scholars of Indigenous Knowledge

Uncle Bob Morgan

Professor Morgan is a Gumilaroi man from Walgett western NSW. He is a highly respected and acknowledged Aboriginal educator/researcher who has worked extensively throughout Australia and internationally in the field of Aboriginal knowledge and learning for over forty (40) years. Professor Morgan was previously the Executive Director of Tranby Aboriginal College and Director of the Jumbanna Centre at UTS.

Professor Morgan has an indivisible commitment to the principles of Aboriginal self-determination and social and restorative justice. Professor Morgan is particularly interested in and advocates the need for the design and development of culturally safe, contextual, and affirming environments to better respond to the socio-economic and cultural needs and aspirations of Aboriginal peoples. His involvement and experience with Aboriginal education and training is shaped and influenced by his many years of senior leadership at the state, national and international levels of Aboriginal education policy and programming development.

Advocating that Indigenous education must reflect community, he has called for a curriculum that celebrates and reflects Aboriginal culture and knowledge systems. Bob has also been active in many community-based organisations concerned with anti-discrimination and sport. As one of the original committee members of the Koori United football team, he helped initiate the enormously successful NSW Annual Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout which has now grown to a carnival in which more than sixty teams compete.

Professor Morgan is currently Chair of the Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Education and Research (BATSIER) and serves, as Conjoint Professor with the Wollotuka Institute with the University of Newcastle (UON) Professor Morgan was the founding President of the NSW AECG, a Commissioner with the now defunct NSW Education Commission and he is the inaugural Chair of the Council of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE).

Larry Andersen

Larry Anderson, the previous President of Fond du Lac, who together with Shirley De Foe and more recently, Roxanne De Lille, have helped to form an alliance with WINHEC that has helped to give life to the text and tenor of the UNDRIP and to maintain an active engagement as a vital Institutional and Tribal Partner/Alliance Member of WINHEC. The hospitality and welcome that we received from Larry, Shirely and the Fond du Lac team and the local Ojibwa community when we held the WINHEC AGM there in 2014, was nothing short of amazing.

Posthumous Circle of Chiefs Awards

Elders of Indigenous Wisdom

Dr. Koro Tainui Wetere, CBE (MP & Minister for Māori Affairs) 1935 – 2018

Born in Oparure and member of Ngāti Maniapoto. In 1957, he joined the Labour Party and in 1969 he was elected as the Western Māori electorate and held this position until he retired in 1996. In 1984, he became the Minister of Māori Affairs, Minister of Lands, Minister of Forestry, and the Minister in charge of the Valuation Department from 1984 – 1987. He was also the Minister for Iwi Transition Agency from 1989 – 1990.

In 1990, he refused to translate his addresses to Parliament in English. This pushed the issue of the use of Māori in public life that has made an enormous impact for the Māori language spoken inside and outside Parliament today and assisted in revitalizing the language nationwide.

In 1999, he received a Meritorious Doctorate from the University of Waikato and in 2008 received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Te Tohu Whakamaharatanga ki Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu. Among these numerous awards, he was appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for service to Māori.

Dr. Tui Adams (Te Reo, Culture & Elder Instructor, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa) 1938 – 2009

Tui was the Senior Kingitanga Spokesman and Ngāti Maniapoto Kaumatua (Elder). Tui was an authority on Tainui Tribal history. For 30 years he was at the Horotiu Freezing Works, but it was the influence and teachings of one of the Tribe’s revered Tribal leaders (Dr. Henare Tuwhangai) that encouraged Tui to develop Te Arataki Manu Kōrero to replenish the paepae with Kaumatua who would speak with authority about themselves and their people.

Tui was also the Kaumatua for New Zealand Police and the Kaumatua for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa where he was the senior Tutor responsible for development and delivery of Te Araktaki Manu Kōrero programme offered to Māori Elders throughout the country. He was also the Kaumatua of Te Matahauariki Research Institute. In 2000, he was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Māori community. He received a Meritorious Doctorate from University of Waikato in 2003.

Joseph Parata Hawke (Bastian Point – Māori Rights) - 1940 - 2022

Joe was born on the papakāinga (land) of Ngāti Whatua Tribe. Around 1951, the Crown removed Ngāti Whatua families from their papakāinga for future urban development. Whānau (family) homes along with the village were burnt to the ground and people were forcibly taken up the hill into State housing.

Joe began taking part in Māori activism by joining the Land March in 1975. In 1977, he was instrumental in leading the Bastian Point protest and occupation that was a key event for the Māori Land Rights movement in the 1970’s – 1980’s. He also coordinated the establishment for Mai FM, the largest urban contemporary radio network promoting Māori language, culture, and music. In 1996, he became a Member of New Zealand Parliament and retired in 2002. In 2008 he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Shirley De Foe

Shirley De Foe was one of the initial cohort of First Nations women appointed to the WINHEC Board as a country rep and her cultural, professional and personal contributions to all of the earlier manifestations of WINHEC, were amazing. She was such a beautiful spirited lady. 

Scholars of Indigenous Knowledge

Dr. Henare Tuwhangai (Cultural & Historical Icon) 1899 -1989

Henare was from Ngāti Apakura. He became the Tainui and Māori Cultural Advisor to the Māori Queen, as well as the Advisor to several Governor Generals. He was acknowledged as a Māori expert in history and whakapapa (genealogy).

Henare was an active Elder and Advisor in the national establishment of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. He remained active until the day he died at age 96. He was buried on his home Marae Mokai Kainga in Kawhia. Henare passed his mana (knowledge, wisdom, and role) on to his successor Dr. Tui Adams of Ngāti Maniapoto who he selected and pronounced would succeed him.

Tuaiwa Hautai “Eva” Rickard (Māori Activist & Women’s Rights) 1925 – 1997

Eva was born in Raglan and was a member of Waikato, Tainui. She rose to prominence as an activist for Māori land rights and women’s rights within Māoridom. Most notably were her public civil disobedience campaigns to have ancestral lands alongside Raglan harbor returned to the local Tribes and to have Māori mana and culture recognized.

She founded the Mana Māori Movement and was a member of Te Mana Motuhake after becoming disillusioned with the political structure. Eva was fiercely articulate and strong willed and was an expert in her knowledge of her whakapapa (genealogy) and Tribal history.

Dr. Pakariki Harrison, QSO (Tohunga Whakairo, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa) 1928 – 2008

Born in Ruatoria, the eldest of 21 children and a member of Ngāti Porou. Paki as he was called, was recognized throughout country as Master carver of Aotearoa (NZ) who wrote, taught, and researched the Art of Māori carving. With support from his wife, Hinemoa an accomplished weaver, he carved numerous wharenui including several of them for Wānanga and mainstream educational institutions and organizations.

He became an Associate Professor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and was instrumental in securing the accreditation for a bachelor’s degree in Whakairo delivered through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Paki attended Massey University and Auckland’s Teachers College. In 2000, he was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for community service.

In 2002, Paki was named as the leader of the design team for Toi Iho (mark authenticating Māori made) for Creative New Zealand. He was also named a living icon of New Zealand arts by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2005.

Service to Indigenous Education

Dr. Himiona Nuku (Former CEO, Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi) 1915 – 1995

Named after his father, became the inaugural CEO for Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Himiona was a forthright advocate of Indigenous Education. He ensured that his people and Wananga students participated with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWOA) in the Māori protest at Parliament in Wellington against unfair funding of Wānanga.

This action culminated in a successful Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal that secured proper funding for Wānanga. He is remembered for his dedication to cultural revitalization of language Te Reo Rangatira, Whakairo, Rāranga and Korowai, as well as mainstream academic studies.

His vision set high standards in leading the third Wānanga in Aotearoa (NZ), which gave strong support towards the establishment of WINHEC in 2002, supported by Tribal leaders of Ngāti Awa.

Dr. Napi Tutewehiwehi Waaka, MBE (Cultural Advisor & Elder - Instructor for Performing Maori Arts at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa) - 1935 - 2016

An absolute pillar that stood among Māori, was Tribally affiliated with Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa and Tainui Waka. His contribution to his people, Te Ao Māori, remains unmatched by any one of his contemporaries.

He served his country with rare dignity and distinction, a man with numerous talents. Widely recognized nationally and internationally was awarded as a Member of the British Empire. He also served his community as a spiritual leader and Minister of the Methodist Church. He was an Administrator for the Department of Māori Affairs and a former Tutor at Rotorua Boys High School.

He was inspirational in leading Ngāti Ruanui in development of their “Poi e” Action song made famous across Aotearoa (NZ). He led many cultural Kapa Haka groups to prominence and was Chief Judge of Te Matatini for many years. With his wife, Evelyn, he established the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Campus of Te Arawa in Rotorua in 1989 and became the National Advisor for the Wānanga for Mātaurangi Māori throughout the country.

Thousands of Tauira (students) benefited from unique leadership of Naapi from 1989 – 2016 when Pākehā (non-Māori), as well as Māori mourned his passing. A continuous service for 27 years to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWOA), left his professional mark, knowledge, and expertise to his whānau, his wife, son and daughters. This Award acknowledges the enormous contribution both he and his whānau have made to Aotearoa (NZ).

Dr. Monte Rereamoamo Ohia (Services to Māori Education, TWOA) 1946 – 2008

Monte was born in Tauranga and affiliated with Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Pukenga, Te Arawa and Ngāti Ranginui. He was raised in the Ratana faith and in 1986 he identified with the Charismatic Movement involved in establishing several house churches for Christian Māori believers. His Christian ministry focused on the World Christian Indigenous Movement, taking Monte all over the world and providing the opportunity for him to present on Indigenous mathematics.

Education was instrumental in his life. He was working on his Ph.D. when he passed away but has since been granted his doctoral degree. In 1990 he had completed his M.Ed. Admin (Hons) from Massey University. He began teaching at Queen Charlotte College, going on to become an Advisor for the Canterbury Education Board and later for the Department of Education in Wellington. He held several key senior positions including General Manager of Māori Education for the NZ Qualifications Authority from 1990 – 1996, Director of Māori Education at Tauranga Polytech and latterly as Te Pou Matua/Kaiarahi for Te Wānaka o Ōtautahi (Christchurch Polytechnic) from 2005 – 2008.

His position with NZ Qualifications Authority was instrumental in securing status for Wānanga. He was also the Coordinator of the Treaty of Waitangi Claims for Tauranga Moana. Prior to his death he was the Māori Party candidate for the 2008 General Election in the electorate Te Tai Tonga.

 World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium

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