Mathew OHagan resized Mathew OHagan thumb
Education Champions

Mathew O'Hagan

Mathew O’Hagan is a learning leader at Thorndon School Te Kura o Pipitea. He first went to Asia as an AFS exchange student to Thailand in 1994/5 and began his teaching career as an assistant English teacher in Japan on the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme in 1999.

A desire to learn how best to affirm the cultural identities of his students and better integrate their cultural knowledge and contexts into teaching and learning programmes led Mathew to the Foundation.

He hopes becoming a Champion will lead to opportunities to connect and collaborate with experts and educators from across New Zealand, to further explore the connections between Asia and New Zealand, as well as between Māoritanga and Asian cultures.

Mathew hopes to use this learning to help strengthen the NZ education system’s ability to reflect the linguistic and cultural diversity of our nation. For Mathew, intercultural understanding is a foundation for peace. He says "teachers and students having an understanding of Asia is an important step towards building strong relationships and connections with a region that is economically, politically and socially important to our small nation."