Southern hub regional manager retires
When Southern Hub Regional Manager Bridget O’Regan retired in July, Ako Aotearoa colleagues and educators from many sectors of New Zealand tertiary education applauded the impact she had made on their professional and personal lives during her seven and a half years of service.
An outstanding professional, leader and colleague
A common theme of their accolades was an appreciation for Bridget’s valued professional support, encouragement and leadership. Carole Crawford, Director of Learning Services, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), commended her “capable, efficient, reliable and dedicated approach to her role”.
At a personal level, Bridget was described by her Ako Aotearoa colleague Nyk Huntington as “a funny, kind and exceedingly fun individual”, while Pauline Steedman, Managing Director Front-Line and PTE representative on the Southern Hub Advisory Group, revered her as “an absolute inspiration to me [through] your ability to be calm, collected, totally professional and so politically correct at all times …. in addition to your knowledge, amazing people networks, people management skills and determination for perfection”.
Relationship with Maori and Pasifika communities valued
Bridget was also valued for the connection she had developed with the Māori and Pasifika communities in Te Wai Pounamu. Tufulasi Taleni, Pacific Education Facilitator of Canterbury University, wrote “You have contributed immensely to our Pasifika people through your Pasifika network (both here and in the Pacific). I should thank you on behalf of our people”. Professor Angus Hikairo Macfarlane, Professor of Māori Research at the University of Canterbury, also wrote “It soon became obvious to me that Bridget’s professional approach to her work was balanced in such a way that all perspectives were listened to and seen as important. Where appropriate she made a point of drawing on Māori knowledge and tikanga to guide her professional pathway. She manifested an appreciation for, and sincerity towards, things cultural”.
Speakers and writers wished Bridget well for her retirement and imminent overseas travel and hoped she would remain in contact and feel welcome to visit on her return. Jennifer Leahy, Adult and Community Education, Christchurch, summed this up with “We wish you well for your future and thank you for all you’ve done for ACE in Christchurch.”
Farewell words from Bridget
“It has been an honour and a privilege to work for Ako Aotearoa. As Regional Manager I have had the opportunity to make connections with many people across the tertiary sector who have a passion for learning and who constantly seek ways in which they can improve the learning experience for their learners. A huge appreciation and thank you to you all.
I leave an organisation with a wealth of experience and memories – the various people from throughout the tertiary sector and the array of project topics have made the job so interesting and rewarding. Ako Aotearoa is a wonderful organisation with much to offer.”
Southern Hub management
Following Bridget’s retirement, the Southern Hub Professional Development Coordinator Neil Andersen has been seconded to the role of temporary Acting Southern Hub Regional Manager.