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David Williams


Senior Academic Staff Member

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What do you love about your job?

I love that I get to combine my work and my passion. I get to explore some of New Zealand’s most beautiful wilderness and use it as a classroom.

How would you describe your approach to teaching?

I use the concept of ako in my teaching approach. I like to go on the learning journey with our tauira and share my knowledge in an organic way to encourage students to contribute to our learning environment. I am also a strong advocate of experiential learning and when appropriate, learning through play. 

What is your experience in the industry?

After studying outdoor education and teaching at AUT, I became a secondary school teacher. I have run the outdoor departments at three different schools as well as taught health and PE. While growing and promoting outdoor education at a variety of schools, I have also developed many resources, run workshops and been a part of a team redeveloping the outdoor unit standards at levels 1-3. Aside from my school life, I am currently on a challenge to be the first person to climb the highest peak on the seven continents from sea level to raise awareness for mental health ( I am supported in this journey by our industry leaders, Bivouac Outdoors, The North Face, and Radix Nutrition. 

What are your qualifications and educational background?

  • Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership (Level 6), AUT, 2006
  • Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, Outdoor Major (Level 7), AUT, 2008
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (Level 7), AUT, 2009
  • AUT Significant Student Scholarship Award recipient (2006-2008)
  • Certificate in Adult Tertiary Teaching (Level 5), Wintec, 2020
  • NZ Outdoor Instructor Association Awards
    Bush 1, Sea Kayak 1, Alpine 1, Rock 1, Canoe 1
  • NZ Trampoline Team Coach (2007-2010)
  • NZSC Surf coach level 1

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

I live in Raglan on the West Coast with my wife and young baby. This was not an accident, as my happy places include, running on trails, surfing left-hand point breaks, or spearfishing and free diving. If the surf and vis are no good, then I will most likely be climbing a mountain or attempting a building project at home under the supervision of my dog Max. These days, nothing beats a morning Raglan Roast coffee and a beach walk with the whole whānau.




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