Virginia Oakly (BTchLnECE, ANZEI)


Nominated for:

  • Vice President
  • Early childhood sector
  • General membership

Relevant skills, attributes, and qualifications

I have been an active member of the National Executive for almost 8 years now and I love the role. It is both challenging and rewarding and I find the more I put into it, the more I get back. My time on here has learn about and contribute to all parts of the Education sector we represent.

I currently work in the kindergarten sector as a Head Teacher and have also worked in Education and Care services both private and public and prior to gaining my Bachelor of Teaching and Learning I worked in Playcentre for 5 years. This has allowed me to gain a breadth of knowledge and experience of the diverse Early Childhood Education sector.

As well as teaching, I have been a Centre Manager and an associate teacher. These roles plus those within NZEI Te Riu Roa have led me to develop and use a range of skills around leadership - listening, mentoring, budgeting, decision making, setting and achieving goals, and advocating for quality education.

I believe that my work within NZEI Te Riu Roa contributed to my success in getting my current Head Teacher position. I am Head Teacher of our relievers for our association which is an interesting, exciting role unique within Aotearoa I believe. It involves looking after our relievers including networking, Professional development, and appraisal. My work involves knowledge of employment, the Vulnerable Children's Act, The Education Council including certification knowledge, appraisal information, Communities of Learning knowledge, and awareness of and sensitivity to casual and fixed term employees and their needs. This work fits in so well with my NZEI Te Riu Roa work especially advocating for those most vulnerable.

I have a real passion and interest in education at all levels and in the politics involved in education.  I came onto National Executive with a commitment to seeing the return of funding for 100% qualified teachers and it was so exciting to see this funding reinstated earlier this year. My sight is now fixed on pay parity for the sector including Kohanga Reo Kaiako. My passion and interest have also extended to looking after our vulnerable ECE teachers - beginning teachers, casual and fixed term workers and being a voice for them. Further to this, there is a real need to fight for equity of conditions as well as pay. I am also keen to support some sort of indigenous framework that recognises qualifications and expertise. I am learning what I can in this space and are determined to support in whatever way I can be most effective. I welcome hearing people's stories and experiences to deepen my knowledge and understanding.


NZEI Te Riu Roa Experience

I have been a member of NZEI Te Riu Roa since I first started teaching in 2004 and in that time I have held a number of roles including Worksite Rep, Branch Early Childhood Network Coordinator, Branch Secretary, Branch Vice-President, Early Childhood National Caucus Rep, Area Council Chair, ECECA bargaining team member, Kindergarten Bargaining team member, Joint Initiative Phase II ECE group member, Pay Equity interviewer and analyser and are currently the ECE sector representative on the National Executive.  I have represented NZEI Te Riu Roa at Initial teacher education meetings with the Education Council, ECAC, the Joint Initiative Governance Group for Kahui Ako and the Governance group for the kindergarten career framework. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to represent ECE at the International Summit of the Teaching Profession in Portugal.

I chair the Leading the Profession workgroup and are part of the Education Reform working group and the learning Support workgroup.


Other background and personal information

I live in Sunny Nelson with my partner Kerry, our dog Tess and cat Molly. My daughter Llybel lives in Christchurch and is studying at Canterbury University and my son Jack lives in Waimate where he is a mechanic

I am a member of Soroptimist International Nelson - a women's service club though my work there has been a little quiet in recent times as I focus on my NZEI work.

I enjoy tramping and walking and recently walked the Heaphy Track with my Dad. Something I have wanted to do for many years and finally made happen.

Nominated by Nelson Branch, Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui AC.