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Anne-Marie Jackson, who is co-director of the University of Otago’s Te Koronga School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise, and Otago Polytechnic nursing lecturer Josie Crawley won Ako Aotearoa tertiary teaching excellence awards and $20,000 each.
There were seven other award winners.
Associate Prof Jackson helped establish and co-leads Te Koronga, the centre of excellence for Maori graduate research and indigenous science.
Her award was one of five in the Kaupapa Maori category.
"I like to construct learning environments that enable students to flourish — both within themselves and in their ability to connect with clients,’’ Ms Crawley said.
"I love nothing more than sitting one on one with a student on a clinical placement and see them make all the connections.’’
Prof Jackson said she saw the award as recognition for her whanau that anything was possible.
"I primarily teach physical education students, and teach very much from a Maori physical education and health perspective ... I love seeing students develop their own passion and enthusiasm about the theoretical content, and then how they become engaged to go out into the world and do something about it in a practical way, too.’’
Prof Jackson said her purpose as a scholar was to help lift the hopes and aspirations of Maori communities.
University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne said Prof Jackson was a popular teacher and successful researcher.
"Her dedication in raising the profile of matauranga Maori in our division of sciences and further afield is a fantastic example of how to effect change from inside an organisation.’’
Ms Crawley’s teaching career has been diverse. Students have ranged from parents with intellectual disabilities, to prisoners and Plunket workers.
In the past two decades, however, she devoted her time to preparing students for careers in nursing or, in her own words, “developing compassionate nurses”.
The polytechnic’s health college head Ian Crabtree said Ms Crawley had amazing skills that brought out the best in nursing students.
The nine award-winners are in the running for the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award.
The presentation date has yet to be confirmed.