Equity is of critical importance to FMHS PGSA. We support several postgraduate student representatives to foster equity at FMHS. We would love to hear your perspectives on equity at FMHS if you would like to share.

Past Events: Student Equity Seminar Series, 2022

This online seminar series explored key equity challenges and opportunities experienced by students and society. In these Q&A-style seminars, we discussed each topic with researchers, experts and those with lived experiences so we can all work together to promote equity in our academic, personal and professional lives. See some of our topics below.

Disability, Neurodiversity and Ableism 

Tuesday 13 September 1pm-2pm

People with visible and invisible disabilities often face physical, structural and social barriers that limit opportunities and access. In this seminar, we will explore disability identity and language conventions, address stereotypes and myths surrounding disability and discuss what it means to act as an ally in various contexts. The concept of neurodiversity will also be explored, as an adjoined, but for some, distinctly separate, topic. We will also explore a few strategies around how the institution could better address and support those with disabilities.  


  • Emma Sadera (Professional Teaching Fellow – FMHS)  
  • Ruth Monk (Research Fellow – FMHS)  
  • Cody Mankelow (Professional Teaching Fellow – Faculty of Engineering) 
  • Huhana Hickey (Māori Lawyer and Disability Advocate) 


Friday 23 September 10am-11am

People who belong to equity groups face any number of challenges, which may be similar among members of the same community. However, many people have several overlapping identities which interplay to create unique lived experiences. This concept is termed intersectionality. In this seminar, we will explore intersectionality in various contexts, and how it can impact people. This seminar will also include practical ways that allies can foster understanding and support for those around them, and the importance of not making assumptions about someone’s lived experience.   


  • Guillermo Merelo (Associate Director of Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – UoA) 
  • Virginia Braun (Professor – Faculty of Science)  
  • Huhana Hickey (Māori Lawyer and Disability Advocate) 
  • Shahela Qureshi (Muslim Chaplain, UoA) 

Experiences of Students from Refugee Backgrounds 

Thursday 29 September 1pm-2pm

People from refugee backgrounds face many challenges that others may be unaware of. Speakers from these backgrounds and/or working in this field will provide us with insight into experiences of those from refugee backgrounds, aiming to normalise these and develop understanding. We will also explore how people can support people from these groups, in a range of life settings, and what action exists, or is needed, at an institutional level to support the success and wellbeing of people in these groups.    


  • Jay Marlowe (Professor – Faculty of Education and Social Work, Co-director of CAPRS) 
  • Maria Ahmad (Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant – Faculty of Education and Social Work) 
  • Bilal Nasier (Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology) 
  • Abann K. A Yor (CEO – Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition)  

Pasifika Peoples and Communities 

Friday 7 October 9am-10am

This seminar will focus on experiences of Pasifika peoples and communities, with an emphasis on health and higher education. We will explore challenges and opportunities for Pasifika students entering the health sector. Participants will learn about actions and projects occurring within and beyond the university to promote equity. We will also discuss aspirations regarding Pasifika health, wellbeing and flourishing.  


  • Sir Collin Tukuitonga (Associate Dean Pacific – FMHS, Associate Professor – FMHS) 
  • Teuila Percival QSO (Consultant Paediatrician, Honorary Senior Lecturer – FMHS)  
  • FOU – the Future is Open to Us representative (Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau) 

Get in Touch

If you’ve attended one of our seminars we’d love to hear from you! There’s an anonymous feedback form here for you to send any thoughts or suggestions about the session you attended or future sessions you’d like to see.

If you’re a post-graduate student and would like to get in touch with us you can email us directly or contact us through this link if you prefer to stay anonymous.  

Your Equity Rep

Jess Kelly is your FMHS PGSA Equity Representative. We believe diversity is invaluable and should be celebrated, university environments must support everyone to reach their full potential and FMHS must be an accessible, safe, fair, and inclusive place to study If you are interested in being an Equity Rep with us, please get in touch at fmhspgsa@auckland.ac.nz.

Jess Kelly (she/they)

Doctoral Candidate, Centre for Brain Research, Rangahau te Roro me te Hinengaro 


I am disabled, and am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I also hold Disability sector qualifications, I am interested in justice for all marginalised people and radical inclusivity

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University of Auckland, Grafton Campus