Skip Navigation LinksHome > About Us > Our People > Student Profiles

Student Profiles

Phyllis Callaghan
Iwi:
Rongomaiwahine

Doctor of Philosophy - Education

Background Summary:

As a teacher, I became aware that English education systems and cultural practices could not provide a strong, responsive cultural lens for Māori. I saw a whole population of Māori students who were disenfranchised. Some were finding success in kapa haka or waka ama but many more were being left behind. That’s how I began my journey – I wanted to find out why they weren’t succeeding or being understood, and how to improve their path through the system.

I came to Awanuiārangi seeking the higher education I needed to make meaningful inroads into the learning system for Māori. Having been the only Māori teacher in a mainstream school’s English department, I understood the isolation experienced by Māori students. I was interested in Awanuiārangi because Māori knowledge is respected and valued here. And there were large numbers of Māori getting their Masters and PhDs at Awanuiārangi, and then going out into the world and making a difference.

So I took the bull by the horns and never looked back. Going to a Māori university accelerated the academic journey and broadened my knowledge base. Awanuiārangi gives you the attitude where you can take on the world for the first time. You’re being told you can actually do it, and you can. You discover strength after strength after strength, all unlocked through learning.

* Phyllis Callaghan was awarded the Emeritus Professor Roger Green, ONZM, Award for Top Thesis in 2017 and was the Valedictorian.