Indigenous | Education

Promising student takes on security teaching role

Daumavia Herewini had always planned on becoming a police officer or a professional rugby league player, but after learning about a military prep course offered by New Zealand Skills and Education College, she realised her skills were better suited to security. The Ngāti Haua descendant has a remarkable ability to connect with youth and because of this, she was rapidly promoted to a teaching position.

At only 21-years-old, Herewini has been hand-selected as a tutor to train new military prep students. Her main role is to motivate them to succeed.

“Just keep pushing and never give up. Just stay positive no matter what it is. Forget about the negative, the negative is irrelevant,” says Herewini.

As a past graduate of the programme, she says her life experience has played an integral part in her journey.

“When I was younger I was taken off my mum at like 6-years-old and I was put into the care of my Aunty who I lived with for 11 years. I ended up going to a Kura Kaupapa, Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha, I attended there all my college years and tried to find a pathway towards the police, and I came across ATC on Facebook and I thought it was the perfect course for me.

“As a student, I struggled with housing. I remember being homeless and being in and out of hotels.”

Moving from a student to a teaching role has also presented some challenges.

“One of my struggles as a teacher is not letting my age determine my capability. Not shortening myself or holding myself back just because of my age. Some of my students are older than me.”

For Herewini, the real reward is seeing the achievement of her students.

“I just love seeing students come through and achieve greatness, succeed, and just being able to believe in themselves. It's beautiful to see, it's awesome.”