Orlene D’Cunha

Orlene D’Cunha
Former software developer Orlene D’Cunha reached the high point of her study journey when she was called on stage at NZTC’s Auckland graduation ceremony to receive an award for Academic Excellence.

Orlene D’Cunha with a child at her centre

Name: Orlene D’Cunha
NZTC Qualification: Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) graduate Orlene, who has a master’s degree in science, discovered her passion for teaching after joining her church’s Sunday school in India and working with young children.

“I knew that I really wanted to teach but I had a good, secure job, so it was a difficult decision to make a career change,” Orlene said.

“I came to realise how open young children are to learning, how much we impact them and develop their understanding. I thought if I could make some kind of positive impact on children, they would grow up to be better adults.”

She desired to learn more about teaching, but in India her only option would be to study a three-year Bachelor of Education.

Her sister’s friend told her about NZTC’s 15-month graduate diploma program ideal for degree graduates who want to gain specialist knowledge in early childhood education.

“Ever since I was young, I have wanted to see what it was like beyond India, so I decided to study with NZTC in New Zealand,” said Orlene.

A cherished achievement during her study with NZTC was having her course research paper on New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, published in the college's online academic journal He Kupu.

“I didn’t know much about the Māori culture or the Treaty of Waitangi before coming to New Zealand, so I really learnt about it when I was doing research for my academic paper,” she explained.

“I was on cloud nine when I found out that it had been recommended for inclusion in He Kupu’s biculturalism focused issue.”