Head of the Outdoor Education Department, Botany Downs Secondary College
Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Outdoor Education
Sport and recreation alumnus Dave Williams doesn’t just teach others about the outdoors; he spends plenty of time exploring them himself.
“My goal is to become the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, as measured from sea level. So far, I’ve climbed four of the seven highest peaks. A personal highlight for me was running ten marathons in ten days before climbing to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.
“I chose to start the Sea2Summit7 project to break the taboo around New Zealand men talking about struggles. I wanted to show that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.”
A reputation for academic excellence
His time at AUT gave him a solid foundation of knowledge when it comes to the outdoors, says Dave who received a Significant Student Scholarship to support his studies.
“I chose AUT because of its highly esteemed outdoor education department. I loved all of the outdoor trips we did as part of our studies, and the relationships I built with our lecturers and fellow students. I was able to form lifelong bonds and cherish these relationships.
“I also appreciated that AUT is constantly reinventing itself and challenging what ‘the norm’ is in the industry.”
His time at AUT also sparked his interest in teaching, Dave says.
“The outdoor philosophy paper taught by senior lecturer Ray Hollingsworth inspired me to think more about the ‘why’ of Outdoor Education and not just focus on doing the pursuits. I knew then that one day I wanted to become a lecturer and teach others about the outdoors.”
Sharing his passion
Now working as the head of the Outdoor Education Department at Botany Downs Secondary College, Dave loves sharing his passion for the outdoors with his students.
“What I enjoy most about my role is being able to build relationships using outdoor pursuits as the vehicle. My career highlight so far was reaching Mt Everest Base camp with 23 secondary students.”
He constantly draws on what he learned at AUT, Dave says.
“All of the skills I learned at AUT have helped mature me into the facilitator I am today, which has enabled me to transfer my knowledge and passion onto others.”