Fri 20 Jul 2018

Lily to return home

She has lifted the bar for research at WITT, but the call of whānau has convinced Lily George to leave Taranaki and head home.

Lily, WITT’s Research and Innovation Manager, will return to Northland, and Kerikeri, next Friday after spending 16 months in New Plymouth at WITT.

“I had planned to stay for three years, but my daughter has just had her fourth baby and I want to watch the children grow up,” she said. “I had been going back once a month, but I found it wasn’t enough. My mother will also join us.”

Lily has secured a role as Research Director for the Ngātiwai Trust Board and is excited at the opportunity to work with her own people.

She was recruited to WITT to drive research and innovation and assist staff and students compete for research funding domestically and internationally.

Her time at WITT has been significant for rewriting of WITT’s research strategy,  setting in place a robust ethics process, strengthening the role of the Research Committee, and gaining funding for three projects through Ako Aotearoa  (The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence) relating to adult numeracy skills, reviewing WITT’s new Foundation Skills programme and improving Maori learning success.

She is also hopeful that setting up processes for assessment in the Performance-Based Research Fund will bring more funding to WITT for research.

Lily says she will look back on her time at WITT as a period when she gained more confidence in her own skills.

“I had spent 22 years at Massey and when you are in one place for so long you cannot always be sure of your skills.”

Lily also introduced a monthly public lecture series to WITT, which saw speakers from all over the country as well as four international guests, talk about their areas of expertise. After nine lectures at Te Piere over two years, the series has become a regular on the WITT calendar, but Lily says she regrets more members of the public did not come to them.

Lily is also proud of the fact that she was able to involve students in her research, and the picture shown includes three of them with her – from left Hannah Hughson and Kayla Harris and (right) Chevonne Curtis.

WITT Chief Executive Barbara George thanked Lily for bringing her expertise, work and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) to WITT.

“Sixteen months have flown by and the institute has made good use of it. We will continue the lecture series and build on the capability and practices put in place. Our friendship with Lily will continue and we wish her well. Mauri ora.”


Pictured: Lily (second from right) with WITT students, from left, Hannah Hughson, Kayla Harris and Chevonne Curtis.