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Student Profiles

Dr Caterina Murphy
Of Greek Cypriot descent

Doctor of Philosophy (Indigenous Studies)

Background Summary:

My thesis “Roots of the past in contemporarised kitchens: An investigation of cultural identity through cooking traditions” utilised oral history methodology and argued the importance of the early formative years for teaching and learning about food, wellbeing and culture, the important role of grandparents for transmitting cultural knowledge and the significance of food, cooking and their associated values as a conduit for cultural revitalisation and survival.

I am not Māori yet I felt completely at home and comfort-able in the learning environment from the outset. I am humbled by the very supportive staff who cloaked me with aroha during my time studying there. I maintained wellness during my journey and experienced manaakitanga through their caring, hospitality and upholding of my mana as a person, student and academic. My spirit was always nurtured. This very special way of holistic teaching and learning helped me succeed.

Other doctoral students and guest speakers from within the Wānanga and from other universities inspired me. My first supervisor was fantastic. She had high expectations and I liked that and wanted that as getting a PhD is not meant to be easy. But never once did she make me feel that it was not achievable. All of the staff supported me in so many ways. They are like family to me. I will always hold Awanuiārangi dear to my heart. I am part of that place and it will forever be part of me.

Caterina Murphy was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in 2013. She is the first New Zealand European to graduate with a PhD from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.