Heather Vail

Heather Vail
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Information for Academic Representative –National Women’s Committee nominee Heather Vail


Senior lecturer Heather Vail has been with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and its predecessor, Waiariki Institute, for nearly a dozen years. Below is her personal statement and reasoning for accepting the nomination of Women’s vice-president.


I began teaching within the Diploma of Bicultural Journalism and currently teach Professional Practice for Information Technology diploma students.


Always a TEU member, for the past few years I have had the honour to serve as Women’s Rep with the Mokoia chapter. During this time I have worked with local staff and union members on support and appreciation endeavors, such as setting up recognition of Women’s Suffrage Day. Working with Lizzie Marvelly, I lead our TEU team to set up on-campus support for the annual young women’s event, Wāhine Kākano, a workshop empowering young women to gain confidence and have their voice hear within their communities. My role has been a bridge between the event and sponsor organisation Toi Ohomai ,helping put things in place with staff and volunteers.


My academic pathway has always included knitting together practical applications. For my Master’s in Education(University of Waikato, 2018) I kept a focus on global classroom concepts, which has informed research and production of a widely-used staff booklet forteaching international students. In 2019 I participated in a teaching programme in Jiangsu, China, working alongside Chinese female educators sharing cultural and powerful strategies for caring for and informing our youth. 


Previously I earned a Bachelor of Women’s Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, in the USA. That education has been a bedrock for my approach working in the world, appreciating the sometimes unseen value of women’s work, ideas and perspective in order to guide the positive, peaceful framework of society and community. I believe that women’s strength is, like any great force, in need of continual and diligent application (and translation), to place and help the world become its best.


Hopefully this mentioning of several important career engagements makes the case that I really enjoy working with good people for powerful, positive outcomes.