Yvonne O’Brien

Yvonne (Evie) has built a career working in adult teaching and tertiary education. A woman of Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngati Pikiao descent, Evie grew up in Auckland where she became an adult teacher in the Polytechnic sector. 


She has held a number of executive leadership roles within education institutions across New Zealand, with a particular focus on organisational change and improving outcomes for Māori students.

Having joined Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi as Deputy CEO in 2015, Evie relishes the opportunity to be part of New Zealand’s “quiet education revolution”. 

I love being part of something that is bigger than me and feel privileged to be working in an area that can and does have such a positive effect on people’s lives.

Evie was drawn to the Atlantic Fellows program to have the opportunity to reflect and learn more about Indigenous pedagogies and place-based leadership.  She hopes that she can drive social change through empowering Indigenous peoples.