A career in teaching hadn’t occurred to Janet Tomuri in her youth, but as these things often happen with a suggestion and support from her Dean and Tutor at the time, it was a pathway she would end up following.
Now having been at UCOL for twelve and a half years, Janet of Nga Puhi descent, keeps herself busy inside and outside of the classroom, with six children and a thirst for trying new things – like surfing which she has recently taken up.
“I left school at 15 due to family circumstances – I went back to high school when I was 23 to get my 6th form English and Maths. At 18 I was the supervisor at Empire Foodstuffs and had five staff under me. I worked in restaurants and bars for a number of years. I worked for Gary McCormick as his PA and publicity/tour manager. When Gary went into radio I decided to do the hairdressing course at Whitireia (because I loved my hair being played with).”
“Whilst there, the Dean and tutor were impressed with my people skills and they asked if I had ever considered teaching – I hadn’t. So I enrolled at Whitireia into the CATTA course – there were 21 teachers and me! Just a tad intimidating.”
“After only a few weeks into study a job as the Hospitality tutor came up and they offered it to me – so here I was, 18 students, brassed off because they had three months of their tutors not turning up and I stood before them with no resources or anything – only my charm and wit!”
I remember thinking at the time, if I can get through today, I can get through anything – and I did it, I turned those students from angry to loving the qualification and had a 100% success rate.”
Later Janet relocated to Whanganui, and that’s when she joined the team at UCOL in her role as Lecturer – Hospitality
“I absolutely love working with the staff at UCOL, we are such a close-knit campus, you know someone will always have your back. No matter what issue may arise, there is the help to get it sorted. I love working with my students and seeing them achieve. I hope to continue passing on my passion and knowledge for a few more years.”
“Amazing – to see how much of a difference you can make in someone’s life. I love my job when I see a smile spread across a student’s face when you hand back their marked assessment and they see they have passed – that absolutely makes my day.”
A photograph of Janet Tomuri's son Jacob (pictured right) with actor Tom Hardy.
“My family also makes me proud and my other claim to fame (besides working with Gary McCormick) is that my oldest son Jacob
is Tom Hardy’s stunt double (an incredible proud mummy moment), he has doubled Tom in Mad Max Fury Road, Legend (about the Kray twins), The Revenant and Venom.”