Enabling students in a multicultural institute

Mrs Nicole Henry1, Mrs Nippy Paea, Ms Helen Berdebes

1Manukau Institute Of Technology, Otara New Zealand

This workshop explores an insight of how the Institutes Student Support Team works together to ensure the well-being and emotional needs of their students are enhanced so the academic journey is stress free.  Manukau Institute of Technology is one of eighteen Polytechnics in New Zealand, located in Auckland New Zealand.  With approximately 16,000 enrolled students, the Student Support Team facilitates and triage’s students through to success with a number of variables within its Service Department.  Demographically, Manukau Institute of Technology is situated in South Auckland where the low socio-economic need is evident amidst the back drop of a diverse multicultural community.  Fitting as it maybe, the Student Support Team is made up of Counsellors, Doctors, Nurses, Chaplains, Pastoral Support Advisors, Disability Support as well as an Academic Learning Support Centre.  The Student Support Team are the first point of contact after enrolment, with an orientation programme that imbeds navigational assistance covering a range of pastoral support initiative’s  with effective and informative strategies that enable our students to transition into Tertiary education addressing those factors with solution based examples.  In this workshop, the presenters display an individual lenses insight into their delivery.


Nippy Paea (New Zealand Maori) is the Student Support Team Leader at MIT. She began her journey within the tertiary sector as an Enrolment Co-ordinator within the School of Communication Studies at MIT. She was then seconded to implement a mentoring programme specifically for indigenous students. Also collectively with our Pasifika students within the School. Nippy then moved into a newly established Student Support Team Co-ordinating a Maori and Pasifika Student Support. Also teaching casually on the Diploma in Maori Media. She has sat on many boards of trustees within the community around Maori Education. One of Nippy’s highlights has been developing Mataatua Marae into a community based hub for health education in a culturally appropriate way for Maori people in Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand. Nippy’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Communication Studies, a Postgraduate Certificate in Cross Cultural Supervision and a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching. She is also commencing a Master’s Programme in Indigenous Studies.

Nicole Henry is a Student Advisor in the MIT Student Support team, providing Pastoral support and advice to all students.
Additionally, she is currently working on a pre-emptive project for MIT . The aim of the project is to improve outcomes for Maori, Pasifika and Under 25 cohorts.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Applied Communication Degree and has been at MIT for 3 years.

Helen Berdebes is a Student Advisor for MIT Student Support – Disability Support team.
Holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree majoring in Microbiology.
Has been at MIT for 3 years and previously worked at MIT as an in class and exam support worker. Has a background in Customer Service prior to entering the Disability Support area.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by anzssa.com.


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at www.isana.org.au.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.