The Far North REAP ACE (Adult and Community Education) and leadership team nominated Allan Daun for the ACE Educator of the Year Award, and was delighted to see him win it.
The REAP team were at the ACE Aotearoa conference in Wellington to see it presented and to tautoko his achievement, Richard Hape honouring him with a rousing haka that was well received by all.
Daun began at lifetime of teaching at primary school level, moving on to secondary teaching in a variety of subjects including English, maths, history, social studies, geography, woodwork and te reo.
Not long after completing his teacher training he taught at a newly-built secondary school in Borneo, under the auspices of Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA), where some students trekked through the jungle for 10 days from their bamboo homes to get there. It had been a real privilege, he said, to return in 2018, almost 50 years later, to visit and to meet up with many former students.
Returning to New Zealand, he taught at various high schools around the country for many years, and in 2000 he moved to Japan for eight years' teaching English to employees who needed to be able to converse in English. He resumed his career back in New Zealand, eventually settling in at Kaitaia College, where he was popular with his students (for his method of teaching and ability to tell stories and make long maths questions fun), and is still held in high regard.
He also worked as a shearer and on building sites in England and Australia, and is still making old-fashioned toys, including rocking horses.
Daun began his journey with Far North REAP seven or eight years ago, when he applied for a position as a tutor to provide literacy and numeracy support for students completing NCEA Level 1 and 2 English and maths. He began tutoring after school on a daily basis, and is still doing so.
He was subsequently contracted to support REAP's adult learners, meeting a need for trade apprentices needing help completing their bookwork.
In 2018 he also began providing literacy and numeracy sessions for aspiring police recruits, and others wishing to join the armed services. One of those students is now serving with the Navy, and another is a police officer stationed in Kaitaia.
The REAP ACE Team described Daun as having unique teaching qualities, and the ability to build rapport and trusting relationships with students of all ages, which was pivotal to creating and fostering safe learning spaces to assist students in overcoming learning barriers so they were able to accept help.
"These qualities, added to Allan's extensive knowledge and life experience, make him a true taonga to Far North REAP and our communities in the Far North," they said.
The Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa Educator of the Year Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service in, and contribution to, the development and delivery of adult and community education. It is awarded as a tribute for outstanding work in teaching, training, administration, or a combination of those.