Practitioner Profiles



Susan Rouse

Being at Awhina has given me new insights into caring for little children from a different perspective, one which truly gives respect to the child and his/her unique path of development.

I have two children Jessie and John and a grandson Beauden.

I have carried a long interest in netball and rugby and in watching my children play sport. I am also a netball umpire.  I enjoy craft, especially weaving with flax and gardening.

I graduated with a Diploma in teaching (Early Childhood) in 2011 and I am a fully registered teacher.


Susan has a particular interest in children with special needs from a ‘broad perspective.’

Her endearing personality invites all children into her space while at the same time allowing them the freedom to engage in self initiated exploration.

A particular quality lies in her reflective practice.



Michelle Williams

I came to Awhina as a student at the age of 19 years.   Awhina was an environment I had never experienced before.

From this unfamiliar environment what I felt was the true love and nurturing for each child, the strong rhythm and routine, the thought and attention that went into absolutely everything, and the creative play from the children.

I soon came to realise I had walked into the right place.


I left Awhina three years later.  From there I did a lot of work as a nanny in various countries overseas, bringing into the families’ homes as much as I could of what I had learnt from the Awhina environment.

And now I have stepped back into Awhina; a bit more mature, hopefully wiser and as a mother of two boys.

My life outside of Awhina is being at home with my husband and boys, bringing to them an environment as close as I can to my experiences I learn from Awhina.



Jo Niblett

I feel fortunate to live in Havelock North with my family, which includes our dog, chickens and bantams.

My children are growing up with a fantastic garden, complete with lots of fruit trees, vegetable gardens and their own special climbing tree.



Jo Niblett -CV pic



I do my best to ensure they have lots of time to freely explore and enjoy being children; our home is our haven.

All of these things are so important to me because I was lucky to have grown up with them on a larger scale myself as a child. As a Mother and a teacher, I know that the early years are such a crucial time in terms of lifelong learning and development.

As a qualified Early Childhood teacher, I feel very blessed to be part of Awhina because the importance of these things is recognised too.



Kelly Field

In 2017 I was fortunate to be placed at Awhina for one of my teaching placements while completing a Diploma of Teaching- Early Years through Massey University and now I am fortunate to begin my career path as a teaching practitioner at Awhina.

Walking through the door at Awhina  took me straight back to a place where I hold fond memories from my own childhood; exploring, growing and learning within the home environment, and through the relationships formed between the people and place.


Completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design enabled me to extend my understanding of myself as a learner within the larger community while fulfilling my creative desires, interests and developing abilities. Within this time I gained an interest in art therapy and the powers of creativity which are now actively explored within my teaching practice.

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