Lisa Lowrey, Centre Manager of Cromwell Early Learning Centre Inc (CELCI) has this year joined the Maori Achievement Collaborative of Central Otago principals, and last week the centre hosted the cluster’s hui, which began with a warm welcome from the centre’s children.

The collaborative is a national, non-profit organisation of education leaders, which aims to build the capability of schools to improve educational and cultural outcomes for Maori in partnership with students, whanau, hapu and iwi.

The initiative is led in the Central Otago area by coordinator Whetu Cormick, and works on the framework of ‘Where are we now? Where do we need to go?’.  It is the only cluster in New Zealand to involve early childhood centres.

There are a series of facilitated cluster hui per year, as well as a national hui, which will be held at the Waitangi Marae in October, and Lisa is excited to be invited to this event, and keen to see what is happening in Early Childhood Centres.

Lisa says,

“The collaborative is significant for Central Otago, and it is great to work with a shared vision to support each other.  It’s an exciting challenge, and it is important to have the support from Whetu to achieve our vision.”

Lisa acknowledges Mason Stretch, Cromwell College principal, for his work in encouraging a big shift in cultural inclusion.