Mālo e lelei! Meet Dr Janet Tupou, a New Zealand-born Tongan, whose parents are from the island of Vava’u.
She is the first ever Tongan student to graduate with a PhD from the AUT School of Communication Studies. She is also a Lecturer and is the Chair of the School’s Equity and Inclusion Fono.
After she sat in her first lecture as an undergraduate student, Janet decided that one of her goals was to become a university lecturer. She noticed the lack of Pasifika academics and made a personal oath to become one, so that she could be a role model to students and to ensure Pasifika people continued to have a voice in academia.
One of Janet’s passions is making sure everyone is heard and especially ensuring that the voices of her students are honoured and respected in the classroom. She feels everyone has a right to an opinion and looks to encourage respectful sharing in her teaching practice.
She is currently supervising postgraduate masters students, is a research consultant for Point advising on community issues in the South Auckland area and is also a youth leader at her church.