I affiliate to the South Island iwi of Ngai Tahu, and the West Coast (Te Tai Poutini) iwi of Ngāti Waewae. I was born in Hokitika and raised in Ahaura. I have a history in education and special education; I taught in primary schools and then worked as a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), before moving into the Ministry of Education: Special Education (MoE: SE) as a Special Education Advisor. Prior to commencing work here at UC, I worked for almost 8 years as the national Practice Leader: Services to Māori within MoE: SE. This role required me to work alongside special education practitioners in order to enhance their cultural competency for working with Māori tamariki and whānau. This role also enabled me to participate in research and publishing in the areas of Māori education, health and well-being, cultural identity and culturally responsive pedagogy.