Tue 16 Feb 2021

Tara awarded for Research Excellence

Nursing lecturer and active researcher Tara Malone gained special recognition at WITT’s end of year celebration in December. She was one of three staff members to receive an award, taking home the Chief Executive's Award for Research Excellence which acknowledges her leadership in the WITT research community and her commitment to Te Pou Tokomanawa – Lifelong Learning.

In 2020 Tara prepared and submitted a journal article focusing on ‘Effective formative assessment strategies to the Higher Education Research and Development’. She is currently collaborating with colleague Helen Bingham on a research project evaluating the effectiveness of an eight-week Trauma-Informed Care training programme exploring the attitudes of health professionals who work predominantly in mental health and addiction services. She presented this study at WITT’s Hui Kōrerorero Rangahau (research hui) and won the People’s Choice award.

“It has been a career highlight in 2020 to finally develop, and have approved by NZQA, the first micro credential in Trauma Informed Care in Aotearoa with my colleague Helen,” she said.

The first course was delivered in October to a range of professionals working across Health, Justice and Social Services.

“Although it is an intense eight weeks, the overall feedback was amazing and really validated the need and relevance of the course; the research project aims to explore whether the course prompted an attitudinal change in those who undertook the study, and whether this change was sustained in their practice.”

Tara said receiving the Award for Research Excellence was unexpected and humbling.

“I was so pleased to see the important mahi related to this award being acknowledged.”


More on Trauma Informed Care

“It is widely acknowledged in current literature that trauma, be it singular, complex, intergenerational or historical, affects a huge amount of the population, from the first 1000 days in utero right through to death, it is particularly prevalent amongst those who access Mental Health Services,” Tara said.

“However, the actual impact on the holistic health of the individual or whanau is not yet widely acknowledged by those providing care across the Health, Justice and Social Service settings.Just this month Australia MPs and trauma experts told the Australian parliament that these very settings need to be better trained to support and care for an increasingly traumatised population. It is really exciting to know that at WITT we are poised and ready to deliver that training when the New Zealand Government follows suit.

“The impact of trauma is particularly relevant to the population in Aotearoa because of our history of colonisation, so Helen and I were privileged to collaborate with WITT Kaitakawaenga Tuari Rewiti to make sure the micro credential had appropriate material to explore this.”

Find out more about WITT’s Trauma-Informed Care course here.