Tihema Nichol - 2012
Ngati Ruingarangi; Ngati Rauhoto; Ngati Te Maunga, Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), Otago University.
Kia ora whanau.
Ko Tihema Rewa Nicol tenei, he uri ahau no Ngati Rauhoto raua ko Ngati Te Maunga. Tena koutou katoa.
I am one of the recipients for the 2012 Wairakei Charitable Trust funding. This year has already proven to be a big one for me following my election in to the Te Roopu Maori (Otago Maori Students Association) executive. In this role I sit on the Welfare board representing the Maori students at the University of Otago.
I am also in charge of Te Roopu Maori sports where our executive pays for various sports Maori teams to enter into the local competitions. We currently have a team entered into netball, basketball, touch, volleyball and dodgeball. This year TRM are hosting Huinga Tauira which is the annual Maori Students Association conference where associations from each university meet up and participate in workshops, debates, sports challenges and of course Manu korero. It will be the first time in 10 years that TRM has hosted the conference so it will be interesting to see how we cope with catering for 200-300 guests.
Academically, this is my 4th year at the University of Otago and my 3rd year into my Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree. This is the first year that I get to have my own patients and carry out treatment on them – so exiting! Lectures are as long as ever yet there is increasing emphasis on practical work in an attempt to prepare us for general practice in 3 years time.
As an off-shoot from TRM, we have a Maori dental student association called Nga Mokai o nga Whetu aimed at providing support for Maori students within Dentistry, Dental Technology and the Oral Health disciplines. This association provides text books and other essential course items to the students who usually can not afford them. Nga Mokai also attend the annual Hui-a-tau for members of the national Maori Dental Association. Each student is paired up with a "buddy" - a practitioner who essentially gives us advice on anything we need help with during the year.
This year will be an extremely busy one yet probably one of the most exiting years of university yet and I look forward to letting you all know how it pans out.
Noho ora mai, Tihema
Click here to read Tihemas 2011 Letter of Thanks