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Our presenters

Anne Haddon

Anne is a computer tutor with over 30 years’ experience and has taught both in the Corporate Market and at different training organisations. 

She holds a Teacher’s Diploma from Massey and has enjoyed imparting her computer knowledge as she has  practical skills in office work and teaching. Anne's other interests are dancing, playing a musical instrument and biking. 

Anne Troy

Anne Troy joined the Community Education Centre in 2012.  She has been a qualified ESOL teacher since 2004 and graduated in 2014 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Second Language Teaching.  She also holds a Masters in TESOL Leadership.

Her teaching career has taken her all over the world with various teaching positions in South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the Czech Republic, Italy and now in her home country of New Zealand.

She has taught people from over 30 different nationalities and believes that this experience has given her a better understanding of her students and their unique cultures. Her classroom is a friendly and comfortable learning environment where students can feel confident speaking English, and are able to ask questions freely whatever their level of English.

"I love my job, and teaching at WHS allows me to take an active interest in the learning and well-being of all my students, both in and outside the classroom".

Anuradha Mangalpalli

Anuradha earned her masters and doctoral degree in psychology from premier institutions in India. She has worked in the field of public health for twenty years with health education as a focus. She has taught various subjects of psychology at University level and conducted workshops on stress and anxiety management. Anuradha believes in an interdisciplinary approach to tackle physical and mental health problems and overall wellbeing of individuals.

Ariki Spooner


Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kurahikakawa

 Toitū te reo! Ariki is a passionate reo revivalist, which he has been since gaining fluency as a second language learner more than 20 years ago. A graduate from Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Ariki continues to expand his own academic pathway while making time to tutor at CEC.

 Along his reo journey Ariki has been privileged to learn under some of the most highly regarded teachers, and practitioners of te reo today. His first-hand experience with the likes of Sir Tīmoti Kāretu, Wharehuia Milroy, Te Haumihiata Mason, to name a few, affords him a strong insight into effective teaching and learning methods, which he employs in his own classes.

Ariki has worked extensively over several years as part of a team creating high quality reo Māori learning resources, and brings those skills to his lessons and students.

 Mauriora!

Austin Harrison

Austin, proudly from Ōtautahi/Christchurch, is a professional theatre-maker based in Wellington. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in theatre from Victoria University of Wellington and regularly performs with Playshop, The Improvisers, FIDKarts and produces independent work. He co-founded VUW’s dedicated improv club mmmpop Improv and created the interactive crime-thriller phenomenon Magnus Steele (nominated Most Promising Emerging Artist, NZ Fringe 2020). Austin performs and produces work all over Aotearoa. He recently established On the Spot Studios, hosting improvisation, dance and drama classes for young people.

Babu Ranchhod

Babu Ranchhod is a qualified Bespoke Tailor holding a Trade Certificate in Clothing.

He has previously tutored at Wellington Polytechnic at all levels of production, from pattern making to final garment.

The aim of his "Clothing Alterations" course is to expand your skills in clothing to teach you how to alter different types of apparel correctly and confidently using a sewing machine or by hand, giving you a better understanding how garments are made.

 

Brenda Crooks

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Paparoa ngā pae maunga

Ko Māwheranui te awa

Nō Māwhera ahau

 

I grew up on the West Coast and have called Wellington my home for most of my adult life. I have always had a drive to learn te reo, but for a Pākehā there was nowhere to learn it in the 80s in Greymouth.

After many short courses as an adult I eventually committed to a degree course in Māori Studies at university. Since gaining my BA I have been involved in the modernising the format and putting macrons in te Paipera Tapu (Bible in Māori).

As a second language learner I have been able to help others with their te reo learning as I understand the learning process and some of the traps that English speakers fall in to.

I’m aware of my privilege in being able to kōrero Māori when so many tangata whenua have missed the opportunity to speak their mother tongue, and the pain that surrounds that.

It’s so encouraging to see the massive interest that non-Māori are having in learning te reo. It can only help in our ability to see the world through another culture’s lens, and to help in the journey of reconcilliation.

He waka eke noa.

We’re in this together.

Brenton Hodgson

Brenton is a senior trainer and performer with the Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT), and is currently WIT's coordinator. 

He has ten years of improv experience, and has performed in improv festivals in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Fringe and Comedy Festivals in New Zealand. 

Brenton has trained with some of the best, including Loose Moose in Canada and the Maydays in the UK 

Cat Connor

Cat Connor is a crime thriller author, New Zealander, and instigator of trouble. By day she’s a warm body in Writers Plot Bookshop in Upper Hutt, NZ where she spends time answering questions from authors (budding, new, and established) and sharing the joy of kiwi authors with kiwi readers, she also teaches writing classes via the book shop. By night she writes crime novels; wrangles teenagers; enjoys the company of Bucky Barnes & Timmy the guinea pigs and wrestles Patrick the kitten. She flourishes on coffee, tequila, travel, knitting, reading, binge watching Netflix series, and a lot of music - not necessarily in that order and usually not all at once.

For the last fifteen years Cat has been writing The Byte Series: Which follows FBI Special Agent Ellie Conway on her journey as a member of an elite FBI team that functions on dark humor, close relationships, and strong coffee. Each book is a standalone story with the same core characters. 

Cat was published by Rebel ePublishers in the USA for 10 years and her short stories appeared in many ezines, journals, and magazines in the UK and USA. In late 2018 her publisher closed and she (with two other Rebels) formed 9mm Press.
Cat hosted a large writing workshop every fortnight at Upper Hutt City Library from 2012-2015 - that group produced three collections of short stories that were published via Writers Plot Bookshop.

 www.catconnor.com

 and

 www.writersplot.org.nz

 

Cathie Anderton

Catherine Anderton has been sewing for the past 40 years and has worked in costume departments for film, opera, TV and theatre.

Catherine spent two years working for Sally Eagle Bridal and has two years experience tutoring sewing for Whitecliff Fashion Tech.  She is qualified to certificate level in Adult and Tertiary Teaching.

Catherine loves to create a warm and friendly class environment, embracing what learners bring to the classroom and helping them to achieve their best results!

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