Transforming marginalised Māori and Pacific communities through higher education

Publication date:
14 May 2019, 4:30pm - 14 May 2019, 5:30pm
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AUT, WP building, WP102, 69 Wellesley St East, Auckland
Professor Hinematau McNeill

Public lecture, AUT

The impact of Māori and Pacific participation in higher education on the socio-economic wellbeing of individuals and their communities is well documented.

The engagement of AUT’s UNIPREP programme with the lowest decile communities in Auckland has the potential to transform many lives. The collaboration between university management, academics and administration opens a portal to realising the dreams and aspirations of our most disadvantaged communities, and in return, Māori and Pacific communities bring to the University a wealth of knowledge, values and the life experiences of people accustomed to the reality of socio-economic barriers and its concomitant hardships.

However, the Academy has a long way to go before it can rightly claim to value non-Western intellectual thought. It is a work in progress. Indigenous ways of knowing and experiencing the world are a different reality that encourage thinking outside the box.

In her inaugural professorial address, Professor Hinematau McNeill will argue that given the daunting challenge of preparing today’s students for careers of tomorrow, we, the Academy, should be actively embracing non-Western knowledge. She will explore the fact that when indigenous knowledge is truly valued, it invigorates and enriches the learning experiences of everyone. It also presents a culturally credible platform for working with, rather than for, marginalised communities to achieve sustained intergenerational success. Professor McNeill was appointed as a professor of Māori Development within Te Ara Poutama in 2018.

Her active involvement in Māori communities has always informed her research, and her journey began with a collaboration into cross-cultural attitudes to family violence when she was one of the first Māori women appointed to a governance role in the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges. She has served on the Iwi Leaders Forum and was a trustee on the tribal Post-Treaty Settlement Governance Board, Social Development Trust and Tapuika Fisheries Trust.

Last updated: 2019-04-16