New Year’s Honours

13 January 2015
Jean Rockel
Jean Rockel

Three Faculty of Education staff have received awards in the New Year’s Honours list.

Dr Kevin Moran has been made Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to water safety, Dr Libby Limbrick has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and Jean Rockel has received a Queen's Service Medal for services to early childhood education.

Dean of Education Professor Graeme Aitken says the awards are well deserved recognition of the achievements of each academic in their field.

“It is an honour to be recognised in this way, it shows the level of service and commitment that has been a feature of their work.

“On behalf of the faculty I congratulate Kevin, Libby and Jean for their achievement.”

Dr Moran is a Principal Lecturer in Health and Physical Education in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. He has been a frontline surf lifeguard for over 50 years and still patrols Muriwai Beach near Auckland where he has been awarded life membership.

His current positions include; member of the International Advisory Committee for the WHO 2014 Drowning Report; Member of the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) Research and Information Committee; Co-Chair of the International Task Force on Open Water Drowning Prevention; Foundation Member of the NZ Drowning Prevention Council, and Foundation Chairman of WaterSafe Auckland Inc (WAI) from 1994 to 2012.

He was recently awarded the 2015 Irish medal by the Lifesaving Foundation in International recognition of “his exceptional contribution to the saving of lives from drowning”.

He is the author of two books on water safety and drowning prevention, has published 50-plus papers in international journals, and presented 60-plus papers at more than 20 international conferences in the last decade. His recent research includes rock-based fisher water safety, defining swimming competency, toddler and parent water safety, and adolescent surf safety knowledge and risk perceptions.

Dr Limbrick’s research publications and professional interests are broadly based in children’s literature and literacy education, especially for students experiencing literacy difficulties.

She co-developed and directed the Postgraduate Diploma of Education - Literacy specialisation, the qualification approved by the Ministry of Education for Resource Teachers: Literacy.

Libby is a Member of the New Zealand Association of Research in Education, and the New Zealand Association for Teachers of English, a past President of the New Zealand Reading Association, and Chairperson of Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand. She is Trustee for the Duffy Books in Homes and the MG Martin Trust for the Education of  Dear and Hearing Impaired Children and is currently co-directing the 35th World Congress of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to be held in Auckland in 2016.

Jean Rockel’s research is in infant-toddler pedagogy and curriculum.

To increase the profile of infants and toddlers in the academic and teaching communities, she founded and is editor of the journal The First Years Nga Tau Tuatahi NZ Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, which in the past 15 years has brought current research and teacher voice to practitioners in early childhood care and education services. During this time she established and facilitated the Infant Toddler Network for teachers in Auckland as well as participating in policy development at a national level.

In 2012 Jean was invited by the Puebla State Government in Mexico to present on infant-toddler and bilingual programmes at the Second World Early Childhood (EC) Congress and again in 2013, on NZ EC care and education policy at the Third World EC Congress in Puebla, Mexico. 

She continues to present on infant toddler care and education in NZ and internationally.