Tue 20 Sep 2016

A gong for Gary

The award is announced each year on International Literacy Day, September 8, and Gary’s gong came on the 50th anniversary of the day.

National Centre of Literacy & Numeracy for Adults director Diana Coben, based at Waikato University, said the theme this year is 'Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ and told Gary in a message announcing his win “I can’t think of a more appropriate recipient for this year’s Award, which recognises your sterling work over many years - and many more to come I trust’’.

Nominees for the award must have made a notable contribution to the field of adult literacy and/or numeracy that has sector, regional or national significance.

The Centre was established in 2009 through a contract with the Tertiary Education Commission and is hosted by the Waikato University.  It focuses on literacy and numeracy for adults as a large-scale issue of national strategic importance.

The Centre in July celebrated encouraging international results which saw New Zealand adults score on average above the OECD average. We rank fourth highest in literacy and 13th in numeracy.

 At the time, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the progress made was a “real tribute” to the adult educators and all those involved in improving literacy in New Zealand.

 Gary, Senior Academic Staff Member, Learning Skills-Development, will have to wait a while before officially being presented with his award – he will attend the organisation’s next plenary presentation at Te Papa, Wellington, in July 2017.

Gary studied at Waikato University in numeracy and literacy teaching from 2008 when the importance of it became more evident in assisting people into work and improving their options to progress.

He refers to the reading and numeracy as potential “killer blows” which stand in the way of learning.

WITT chief Barbara George said she was delighted to see national recognition for Gary.

“It again underlines the extremely high quality of dedicated staff we have at WITT. It is a privilege to have someone with his skills with us.”

Gary’s skills have already been on show at WITT this month in the form of a restored Indian motorbike at the Learning Resource Centre.