Nau mai, haere mai Johny O’Donnell
We’re excited to welcome Johny O’Donnell to our team for the next six months. Johny is contracted to Rangitāne to support us as we embark on the exciting journey of developing a new education and mātauranga strategy for Rangitāne.
There will be opportunities to engage with Johny and the formation of the strategy over the next few months – more information on that will be shared via our channels, so keep an eye out! In the meantime, we wanted to introduce Johny to you all…
Johny is the founder of local strategy, communications, and engagement firm OD&Co based in Whakatū. He was born and raised here in Te Tauihu and is of Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngā Puhi whakapapa. He has extensive experience in community and economic development including regional initiatives such as the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy and Project Kōkiri. His recent kaupapa includes supporting the growth of arts and culture, workforce and skills development, mātauranga approaches to sustainable food production, and regenerative tourism.
Johny comes to this work with a passion for education and mātauranga. Informed by his own experiences, he sees that for iwi Māori, the conventional education system is only one part of the answer. He believes in the principles of lifelong learning and is an advocate for kaupapa Māori approaches to developing skills and capabilities. “Education is not something that begins and ends when you enter the education system. The mātauranga lens is one we need to apply right across our lifetime to understand how we can maximise opportunities to support whānau growth and development – both professionally and personally.”
Although no stranger to the iwi development space, this will be Johny’s first time working directly with Rangitāne o Wairau. He recently participated in our Kura Reo and Te Kaiaotanga o Te Reo where he had the opportunity to meet Rangitāne whānau and engage with our Te Reo Māori revitalisation programme. “I am super impressed with the commitment Rangitāne o Wairau has to support the language and cultural revitalisation. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to support a process to help realise similar aspirations in the education and mātauranga space.”