Casey.

Health Sciences.

What are you studying and why?

I've completed my Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Education. I'm now doing my Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning. I've always wanted to support young people so this seemed like the right path for me.

Favourite supporting role so far?

I've gotten involved with the Māori Development Team doing the Tuākana program. We help first-year Māori students with any needs they may have. I can relate to them… I've been there too! I enjoy giving back especially to that team because they've really supported me through my university journey.

You’re learning Te Reo Māori?

Yep. I did the 200 level paper last year. This year I'm employed to teach at a high school 3 hours a week, which is fantastic. I really enjoy supporting people on their own journey with Te Reo Māori.

Are you going to take it further?

I'll be able to teach Te Reo Māori as a subject after I graduate. I'm on my own journey with learning Te Reo. It's a difficult language to learn! I identify with Māori but I never had the right opportunities to learn it growing up. Being able to engage with it here is really important to me.

"I really enjoy supporting people on their own journey with Te Reo Māori."

Is UC good at providing Te Reo opportunities?

Definitely. The Māori Development Team offers so many different things. Even just immersing yourself in their events, whether you know the language or not, you still feel comfortable and they help you connect culturally.

What would you say to Māori students thinking about coming to UC?

Go for it. There's plenty of support, that's one of the main things. In my first year I found myself struggling a bit. As soon as I reached out, everything just lifted and it was so much better. There are so many things you can connect with here. They've got Kapa Haka, Café Reo... There’s so much on offer.

Your UC experience in 3 words?

Rewarding. Interesting. Beneficial. I've learned a lot about myself here. There are so many opportunities and as much guidance and support as you need.