OUR SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Senior Leadership Team

Calmar Ulberg

Chief Executive Officer

Senior Leadership Team

Marianne Mudaliar

Operations Manager

Senior Leadership Team

Raewyn van Lingen

Human Resources & Communications Manager

Senior Leadership Team

Pikihora Brown-Cooper

Maori Development Coordinator

Calmar Ulberg

Chief Executive Officer

Calmar’s career in early childhood education has spanned 30 years in various positions across a range of settings from Kindergarten to Early Intervention and Special Education. She worked for Barnados for a number of years as Northern Region Team Leader for Early Learning Centres and Practice Leader for Auckland and Wellington Regions as well as Professional Services Manager for centres and home based services with the Pasifika ECE Alliance. More recently, prior to assuming the role of CEO in 2019, Calmar held the positions of Education and Business Manager and then General Manager within Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association

“I believe in being an authentic leader and building trusting respectful relationships. Transformational leadership enables teams to develop and for there to be a shared vision to success. Maintaining these relationships and retaining connections have guided me throughout my journey in the Early Childhood sector. 

The government and the Ministry of Education are raising expectations of how we deliver a service to Māori and Pacific Nations. This is a specific focus for me on both a personal and a professional level. Being a strong Samoan woman I have been committed to building relationships at both local & national levels alongside Maori & Pacific communities and individuals. This has also involved building initiatives that encourage participation within early childhood for families, and in particular empowering parents to take an active advocacy role for their children.

Children are the heart of all that we do, and I believe in best practice and our responsibility to ensure we are here in the next 50 years as part of Counties Manukau and Franklin within the Early Childhood sector. I have always been part of the not-for-profit sector, which also supports connections with likeminded AssociationsCurrent trends at a National and Local level are part of the strategic vision that I apply in my role.  I continue to challenge and look for opportunities to ensure best possible outcomes for children and their whanau.

Marianne Mudaliar

Operations Manager

Marianne’s professional background is in the area of teaching and educational leadership and management, with 35 years of experience in the education arena.  

As Operations Manager, Marianne’s overall responsibility is to oversee the daily operations and management of our Kindergartens and ELCM Early Learning Centres and to assist in the setup of new early learning services for the organisation.   

Her role within the Senior Leadership Team is to assist and support the CMKA strategic and visionary initiatives and to ensure that professional relationships and community networks are positively established and maintained, both internally and externally, for Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association as not-for-profit, community-based organisation.  

I am passionate about empowering our leaders and teachers to be the best that they can be and I aspire and strive to make a positive difference for our tamariki and their whanau in the work that I am immersed in each day.  

My passion, my aspirations and vision are centred on our organisation’s whakatauki:  

Ko ngā tamariki te iho o ā mātau mahi katoa, Children – the heart of all we do” 

Raewyn van Lingen

Human Resources & Communications Manager

Raewyn has made a lifetime commitment to Early Childhood Education, beginning with 23 years as an educator in the Auckland and the Franklin districts followed by 16 years in education management roles. Her professional experience includes the areas of Health & Safety, policy developmentemployment and compliance.  

In her current role as Human Resources & Communications Manager, Raewyn leads the marketing, administration and payroll teams. Her work focusses both on internal systems and strategic direction.  

I am privileged to work closely with teaching and support staffaiding them to deliver great outcomes for our tamariki, and working with our Senior Leadership Team on achieving our strategic goals for the organisation. 

I am proud to work for a not-for-profit community based service that for the past 60 plus years has focussed on early childhood education in local communities throughout the Counties Manukau and Franklin region. I am excited by the innovative and responsive direction of our organisation and value the opportunity to be a part of this journey.  

Pikihora Brown-Cooper

Maori Development Coordinator

Throughout her career, Pikihora has contributed to impacting business outcomes through effective organisation, prioritisation, and execution of key projects.  

Previously, in the role of Māori Development, she has exercised a calculated and methodical approach to problem solving.  

Pikihora comes with a wealth of knowledge in providing professional learning development and leadership with proficiency in te reo Maori me ōna tikanga and communication. Her leadership, collaboration and innovation abilities support and drive continued success for Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association in her role as Maori Development Coordinator. 

Tena koutou katoa, nei te mihi Ko Motatau raua ko Hikurangi ōku maunga Ko Taumarere tōku awa  Ko Peowhairangi tōku wahapū Ko Ngatokimatawhaoerua tōku waka Ko Pokapu tōku turangawaewae Ko tēnei te pito o te ao Ko Miria tōku marae Ko Ngatihine tōku hapū Ko Ngapuhi tōku iwi He uri ahau no Hineamaru Ko Te Ruki Kawiti tōku tangata rongonui Ko Michael Cooper tāku whaiaipo Ko Milton Sammy Sunshine raua ko Evander Holyfield a maua tama tane Ko Tariq Vance Cooper tāku mokopuna, ko ia te taonga o tōku ngākau Ko Pikihora Brown-Cooper tāku ingoa Ko tāku mahi hei ‘Kaihono whanaketanga Māori’ 

Greetings all, I hail from a small place named Pokapu – and is the centre of the universe to me I look to the east and see my mountains Motatau and Hikurangi.  I look further east and see my river Taumarere, my harbour the Bay of Islands, where my canoe Ngatokimatawhaoerua continues to be rowed today. Ngatihine is my subtribe, Ngapuhi my tribe. I am a descendent of Hineamaru ‘the first recorded chieftainess of Ngapuhi’.  Te Ruki Kawiti is my tupuna infamous initiator of the pā fortresses rectified back in the early 1800’s. My husband is Michael Cooper. We have two children and one grandchild who is the treasure of my heart. 

Because my professional goals align with Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association's mission and values, ‘ko ngā tamariki ngā iho o mātou mahi katoa’ I believe together we will uphold this statement in all that we do. Therefore, the opportunities are endless.  

 I would like to close with a whakatauki/ quote: 

‘Kokiritia i roto i te kōtahitanga’ - ‘Progressively act in unity 

 The key message is unity, and only together can we progress forward on our hikoi. 

I look forward to connecting with you and your hāpori/ communities in the weeks to come and hearing your stories and seeing all the great mahi you are doing. 

 Noreira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa 

ENROL YOUR CHILD TODAY!

Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association, providing quality educational experiences and environments for children since 1952. Our 26 kindergartens and three ELCM centres are 100% kiwi owned and operated and are not-for-profit.

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