The Starpath team consists of a group of leading educational quantitative and qualitative researchers. The team is supported by a Board of Governance consisting of senior representatives from The University of Auckland, The Manukau Institute of Technology and the Ministry of Education.
PhD, MEd, BSc, DipTchg
Liz McKinley, of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ngāi Tahu descent, has an extensive background in Māori education in New Zealand. Her career in teaching and management in the education sector has spanned thirty years. In secondary schools she specialised in teaching bilingual science classes (Māori and English), and for more than ten years held lecturing and management posts at The University of Waikato.
Before joining the Starpath Project as Director in 2007, Liz was Associate Professor Māori Education at The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education, and was previously the Assistant Dean Māori Education at The University of Waikato. Originally a science graduate from the University of Otago, Liz’s Masters and PhD work explored the interaction between science and Māori culture. Liz is also a Principal Investigator for a project investigating the supervision of Māori doctoral students, funded by the Ministry of Education.
BA, DipSM, DipTchg
Joy joined the Starpath team in early 2011 as Deputy Director. She started her career in education as a geography and social studies teacher at Tangaroa College and has since held a number of senior management roles in mid-low decile schools, including four years as principal at Henderson High School in West Auckland.
Joy has a deep academic interest in the role of hope in the sustainability of innovation and change in education and, as part of a Research Fellowship with Unitec, produced a paper entitled The Life and Death of Change. She was also invited to be part of an international research team making a comparative study of middle leadership in schools in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Recently, Joy has been actively involved in environmental education and has continued to support community work with an interest in youth mentoring, teen parent education and the issues of deprivation that create barriers to school attendance.
Karen has over 30 years experience teaching in primary and secondary schools in New Zealand and overseas. Before joining the Starpath Project team in April 2012, Karen spent three years teaching overseas in Doha, Qatar and was the principal of a middle high school in Beijing, China. Prior to that she spent 12 years at Mahurangi College in Warkworth where she taught for six years and spent a further six years as a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour based at the school.
Passionate about collaborating with parents and community groups to support students to reach their potential, Karen was also extensively involved in the Youth Action Group which developed plans to support students in the local community. Karen believes that such collaboration is critical to develop students’ sense of self worth and support their academic success. In 2004 she completed her Master of Education which investigated the role of kapahaka in lifting students’ self esteem, motivation and academic achievement.
PhD, RN, MA, BA
Qualitative Research Coordinator
Irena Madjar, a European New Zealander of Ruthenian background, has worked in nursing education and health research in New Zealand and Australia. Her particular area of expertise is in qualitative research methods and she has a long-standing interest in cross-cultural issues in health and education and in research ethics. She joined Starpath in 2007 and has led a small qualitative research team as well as providing support across the project as a whole.