Learning support advisor
Tamm Kingi-Falakoa completed a Master of Arts in Pacific Studies and is now a learning support advisor at Kohuora Campus at the Auckland South Corrections Facility.
Career: Learning support adviser
Programme: Master of Arts
Subject: Pacific Studies
“My role involves teaching numeracy, literacy, Pacific history and Pacific studies. I also do academic support for men who are studying external certificate, diploma and degree level programmes and advise on educational pathways to incorporate into offender plans.
“I really enjoy working with Māori and Pacific men who aspire to re-invent themselves through education, using education as a pathway to be better, reassess their lifestyles and turn their lives around.
“The most enjoyable part of my current job is teaching and watching the men develop and regain trust in education. I am challenged with such a variety of learners, and being able to graduate any of them through a 24-week course on Pacific history and Pacific studies makes me excited to accomplish such a milestone, and makes the men and their families so proud of their accomplishments.
“I'm really passionate about everything Pacific and have been brought up passionate about my own culture, which continues to face struggles with language endangerment.
“I really felt like my choice of an Arts degree would contribute to saving my language, my culture, my identity and help to make others as passionate about learning Vagahau Niue — the Niuean language — as I am.
“Everything that I have learned from my Arts study has benefitted my current role at Kohuora. Usually, the learners in my classrooms are not familiar with tertiary education and do not tend to aspire to that pathway but I have convinced a few that this might be a possibility for them.
“If you want to work in prison education there is a great need for those interested in reducing recidivism who are passionate about the Māori and Pacific learners that are over-represented in the New Zealand prison system and able to manage different situations with ease and adjust accordingly.
“Working in prisons is a very rewarding environment and opens up so many other pathways and opportunities for you to develop your experience and skills.
“I learned most of my course content, met all the experts I call in to guest lecture, and gained skills such as academic writing, referencing and presentation through my studies in the Faculty of Arts.
“The beauty of Arts qualifications is that they are so open ended and applicable to so many different careers. This makes them very versatile.
“My students are proud that their tutor has come through the best university in New Zealand.”