New Zealand Representative
Marlene has always been an advocate for differently-abled learners and diverse needs to be better served within the education system. She has been involved in educational initiatives and organisations including serving on the New Zealand Principals Federation as an executive member, a founding member of the Koha Kai governance board, and the Director of enrich@ILT.
Marlene was the Convenor for the highly successful I Love Teaching conferences held in Invercargill Bi-annually, receiving generous sponsorship from the Invercargill Licensing Trust to provide world-class professional development for educators from ECE, Primary & Secondary sectors. In 2009 Marlene developed a community partnership with the Invercargill Licensing Trust to provide specialist gifted education in a collaborative initiative involving 22 contributing schools.
Marlene has a special passion for Taha hinengaro, mental health and emotional well-being and seeking ways to empower our future generations with the tools required to be educated and prepared for what they are about to face in life.
The reason Marlene is committed to the PITW programme is how it fits the whanau based model of education. It is not a school based approach, rather it is a community embedded way of living. When PITW has real oxygen around it, it becomes a way of being, a way of living that is authentic and purposeful. It has the power to empower our young people to be fully equipped for life and the challenges that they will experience. Whilst relying on adults to model the principles and underlying philosophy of this way of being. This is not a way of managing behaviour but rather a way of living our lives.
Her special interest is developing the social and emotional competencies of children as her broad educational experience confirms that regardless of how differently abled children may be, it is social and emotional learning that ultimately liberates their potential.
Marlene holds a Diploma of teaching and a Bachelor in Education and is a dedicated change maker and innovator in all things in education.