She speaks fluent Romanian, German, English and Portuguese, can get by in Italian, Spanish and Chinese and will likely add te reo Māori to this list by the end of next year.
Meet Monica McQueen: polyglot, mother-of-three, well-travelled environmentalist and the brand new brand manager who recently started her role with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Monica, who was born in Romania, lived in Brazil, India and Hong Kong but calls Berlin home, comes to TWoA following a four-year stint at DairyNZ where she worked as marketing manager for sustainability.
She admits to not knowing too much about TWoA before starting her job at Te Puna Mātauranga but her fascination with learning, languages and wanting to immerse herself in te reo Māori changed that.
“First of all I wanted to do a te reo Māori class but found myself signed up for the Kāwai Raupapa course and that’s when I realised there was so much more than just learning the language...there’s the culture and the richness of it and the different traditions and tikanga Māori and the great artistic sides to it.”
Monica’s decision to work for TWoA was influenced by the organisation’s rebrand video, that was put together by the very people she now works closely alongside.
“When I first saw the video, it really touched my heart and I thought that I really wanted to work here. So, well done to the team.”
“I was so drawn to TWoA because of its rich culture and strong purpose. Having lived in different places I always thought there was more to New Zealand than just the Pākeha view of it. I very much was looking for an environment to discover Māori culture and the language and understand it better.”
Monica brings many years of experience to her role having worked in major advertising and marketing roles overseas and in New Zealand.
Her goals include being able to speak basic te reo Māori by the end of next year “so I can understand what is being said at karakia in the mornings”.
“Professionally, I really want to help the (TWoA) brand get its awareness and improve its reputation and for TWoA to be seen as a first class education choice for people who are looking for more than just academic learning but really the whole nurturing environment.”
“This is what TWoA can provide. It’s great to have not just one vision of the world but a more holistic approach to learning and making a difference.”