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Student Profiles

Monique Gemmell
Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Pahuwera

Master of Māori Studies and Professional Doctorate in Indigenous Development & Advancement

Background Summary:

My mother and I started our Masters of Māori Studies in 2007 with Awanuiārangi, then transitioned and completed a Masters in Education at Victoria University.

The impetus to return to Awanuiārangi was two-fold: firstly, it caters to our areas of interest in regard to indigenous study, and secondly we enjoy the noho-style delivery. The environment is right. Through noho wānanga, there is interaction with like-minded people and access to a variety of academics and teaching staff. The noho delivery also fits in with our lives.

I have five daughters, and I want them to be aware that education is a life-long process; it doesn’t just stop once you’ve finished college. Getting the tohu, for me, is really about completing what I started.

Studying alongside my mother exemplifies kotahitanga. Our subject interests are very different – mine is Māori women; my mother’s is Māori land – but it’s good to be able to work together and have conversations with each other around academic work. At this level of study you’ve got to be quite disciplined, and sometimes we’ve got to motivate each other to get moving, to keep going. The realities of studying for a PhD get us through. It’s about supporting each other.

Photo: Left to right: Monique and Sharon Gemmell