Professional Doctorate in Indigenous Development and Advancement

Completing a Professional Doctorate alongside my daughter, Dr Monique Gemmell, has strengthened our family – our children, our grandchildren and my great grandchildren. It has made the family aware that education is the key to everything.

My daughter and I completed Masters in Teaching at a mainstream university, and then Masters in Māori Studies at Awanuiārangi before going on to our doctorates.

We chose Awanuiārangi for our doctoral study very deliberately because the whare wānanga supports Māori values, culture, philosophies, environment, and the safety mechanisms associated with our culture. We did not have to explain, justify or validate our ways of thinking and being, nor our mātauranga.

My doctoral thesis was entitled “Land is the foundation of all our troubles”, a quote from Te Rauparaha. It arose from my involvement in Treaty claims, including the foreshore and seabed claim, and as a negotiator and historian in Te Ati Awa settlement negotiations. I looked at the relationship between colonial settlers and Māori in comparison to how First Nations peoples and Aborigines were treated during early colonisation.

Awanuiārangi was a vital enabler for my research. The facilities are amazing, and access to PhD-credentialled lecturers and professors is unparalleled. At noho wānanga (live-in block courses), you can be having lunch with 10 doctors and professors, or sitting after hours with them and asking all your burning questions. That means access to an incredible wealth of knowledge. As a result the noho wānanga are stimulating, invigorating around-the-clock learning opportunities where we often work all night with other doctoral candidates.

* Dr Sharon Barcello-Gemmell joined the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours 2018 for her services to education and Māori.

Dr Sharon Barcello-Gemmell, Doctor of Indigenous Development & Advancement graduate

Dr Sharon Barcello-Gemmell, Doctor of Indigenous Development & Advancement graduate

Kimihia he huarahi ako

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