The NZ Māori tertiary education experience: Professor Wiremu Doherty’s Dungala Kaiela Oration

Portrait of Professor Wiremu Doherty with text saying Dungala Kaiela Oration 2022 and imagery of hands superimposed over the
Professor Wiremu Doherty will explore the outcomes of Maōri-led education models on people, communities and economies.

Professor Wiremu Doherty, CEO of tertiary organisation Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārang in New Zealand, will explore the outcomes of Māori-led education models on people, communities and economies when he delivers the 14th Dungala Kaiela Oration.

Professor Doherty, an educationalist and academic of Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa descent and a former principal of the first kaupapa Māori language immersion school, will explore the notions of Indigenous knowledges, prosperity and productivity.

It will be the first Oration in two years to be held in-person at the Rumbalara Football Netball Club on 31 August, after the 2020 and 2021 iterations were held online due to COVID-19.

Co-hosted by the Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne, the Dungala Kaiela ‘Defining Goulburn Murray’ Oration challenges and inspires the region to create a shared cultural identity, promoting Indigenous development and building an inclusive vision for the region’s peoples.

In his speech, Professor Doherty will draw comparisons between the Australian Indigenous and Māori experiences, highlighting non-Eurocentric tertiary education systems as a key element to promoting and empowering Indigenous knowledge.

“Our Indigenous knowledge systems, that are connected to our environments, need to be recognised and strengthened as a key labour market skill set, and seen as a positive contribution to developing a healthy and prosperous nation, one we can all be proud of,” Professor Doherty said.

The overarching theme of the Dungala Kaiela Oration ‘The Invincible Spirit: defining the future’ exemplifies what makes the Yorta Yorta people strong, proud, and resilient. The Oration seeks to further explore the Yorta Yorta cultural identity and build bridges to promote Aboriginal social and economic development.

Kaiela Institute Executive Director Paul Briggs said it was timely to have Professor Doherty deliver the 2022 Oration.

“He’s shining a light on the importance of broad knowledge and deep understanding of our cultural identity. The value of our culture is integral to the future of Australian society in order to sustain us,” Mr Briggs said.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said this important annual event recognised the University’s longstanding commitment and partnership with the Kaiela Institute and the Goulburn Valley region.

“This year, we are delighted to again be able to attend the Dungala Kaiela Oration in person on Yorta Yorta Country, and the opportunity this provides to hear and learn from one of the world’s respected educational experts in Professor Wiremu Doherty,” Professor Maskell said.

Watch the event here. Find out more on the Kaiela Institute website.