A conversation with Dr Ann Milne (principal of Kia Aroha College, Ōtara, Auckland)
On a hot summer’s day in mid-January 2016, I sat down and interviewed Dr Ann Milne. We discussed her inspirations, who influences her thinking and practice, and what she’s working on presently.
E te Aumangea, tēnā koe. Thank you so much for making the time to talk with us about your educational work.
To begin, could you share a little bit about your background and your family?
Well I have four kids, twelve grandchildren, and three great grandchildren!
I grew up in Pataua, a small all-Māori community outside of Whangarei. I went to a tiny school where there was only one other Pākehā family. My parents both left school at age eleven and twelve. They didn’t rate teachers – my dad would call them “educated idiots.” In the end, they both developed successful businesses. Dad taught himself how to build houses, and mum was a hairdresser. All self-taught. A lot of my work-ethic came from them.
My paternal grandmother didn’t go to school; her parents were Scottish immigrants. She lived with us for many years and was selfless. In fact, she was famous for her manaakitanga! She always invited people to come and eat at our place, even when there was little food in the house to actually share. My grandmother always put others first. Her sense of manaakitanga has really stayed with me.
Who has inspired and challenged your thinking?