UCMe - Stacey - Education, University of Canterbury, NZ
Stacey Williams

True identity

Stacey Education
Ngāi Tahu

You’re heading into your Master of Teaching & Learning– what inspired that?

I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was five. It suits the bossiness in me! I’m also passionate about changing our high school education system for the better and helping youth be the best people they can be.

Have you had a chance to get involved in the Māori community at UC?

Yes, I was a tutor and a tuakana for the Takere programme. That was my first step into the UC Māori community. I whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu but I don't speak reo fluently. UC has helped me learn more about my whakapapa.

How does the Takere programme work?

It's a summer scholarship program for first year students. They stay on campus, take classes and get immersed in the university scene without feeling overwhelmed. It helps facilitate their way into uni, which is especially important for Māori and Pacifica students.

What did you get out of that experience?

I met some of my best friends and it gave me a taste of teaching as well. I learned more about myself and how to be patient in stressful situations. And it got me into the Māori community at UC, which has been priceless.

Priceless in what way?

You feel like you belong. The people are so kind and nurturing, and the environment is so welcoming. It feels like home. It’s given me the chance to fully become who I am. I’ve found myself, more than I ever had before.

"I was a tutor and a tuakana for the Takere programme. That was a great step into the UC Māori community."

Tell us about CANTABS, what’s that?

We are the student supporter army for Christchurch sports teams like the Crusaders and Rams. We sell tickets and go to the games. It's all about getting UC students involved in the wider sporting community and having a bit of fun. I’ve been VP and this year I’m president.

Exciting – what are you looking forward to about being president?

I'm looking forward to growing the club and widening our membership to make it even better than it already is. Seeing people enjoy what you're doing makes it all worthwhile.

Would you recommend UC to others?

For sure. My Arts degree gave me the chance to pick and choose my courses. Most of my classes had no more than 30 people, so I got to know my lecturers and classmates on a deeper level. UC is such a diverse university in the sense that you can study such a variety of things. I recommend it 100%. I don't want to leave!

What three words sum up your UC experience?

Diversifying. Inspiring. Growth.