Student Profile

Cecil Oppert

Cecil Oppert - Social Services

“Someone in social work introduced me to this field and recommended I apply for a scholarship to study. I am a truck driver and digger driver by trade and I didn’t believe I could study at a tertiary level because I left school early. I started with the Mental Health and Addictions course in Kerikeri and now I’m on my way to my degree!”

“I did distance learning at Massey for a while but NorthTec suits me better because it’s face to face learning. I drive the NorthTec van from my home base in Kaitaia to Whangarei every day collecting and delivering other students, so I get either classroom or library study time five days a week. The commuting is a challenge but I’m getting A+ pass-marks by being able to attend like this.”

“I’m really surprised that I am able to achieve this level of study – and that my wife and I are actually now considering moving to Whangarei for a year to support it.”

“Our class has students from South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, India, and England as well as sixth generation pakeha, so we are learning many different perspectives. The tutors have put me in a tuakana (supporting) role.”

“I’m planning to work in drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation in Kaitaia. I’ve been clean and sober for 20 years and there is so much need up there for male role models.”

“The biggest thing I’ve learnt in this journey is not to doubt your learning abilities. You can do anything you want to once you remove your own mind blocks.”


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