In 2008 Shirlene Murphy of Te Aupōuri was a team leader at Auckland Hospital, where her team looked after three- to five-year-olds. Shirlene began work in a local factory, but with the encouragement of her boss and her whānau (family), she eventually graduated with a degree in early childhood education. She was passionate about encouraging leadership and helping other Māori women in professional development. Māori women are increasingly entering the professions and earning higher incomes than in the past.
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