Mei-Lin Hansen

Mei-Lin completed a Diploma in Drama and a PhD in English and is now Senior Content & Publications Editor for the Auckland Arts Festival.

Mei-Lin Hansen

“Of all the jobs I’ve had, this is one of the best. I work with a core team of 14 smart, committed, on-to-it people; many of whom are experts in their fields and/or talented and hard-working musicians, choreographers, actors, artistic directors, marketers and lovers of art.

“I’ve felt moments of pride and satisfaction when I’ve stood in a packed Aotea Square or theatre foyer and thought about how the Festival has been able to make an impact on people’s lives and on the face of our city.

“For a good chunk of my 20s and 30s I practically lived in the English Department at the University of Auckland. As a student and then later as a Graduate Teaching Assistant I was surrounded by smart, creative, articulate and generous people who had a profound and lasting impact on my love of literature, study and research.

“I’ve been able to put my study to good use in my current job. I bring the knowledge I gained from doing a Diploma in Drama and the organisational and research skills and contacts I made as I studied for my PhD to the work I do now.

“My study in English made me aware of how the arts affect audiences — how they influence, inspire and teach. As well, I learned how the arts are viewed in different societies; how they are valued for their political power; how they are funded, bought and sold; and how access to the means of producing art and disseminating it can be used to oppress and liberate.

“While I was studying I also became much more aware of the importance and significance of my Māori heritage. I don’t think I would have been presented with so many ways of looking at my personal history, heritage and culture or that of others had I not studied in the Faculty of Arts.”

Find out more about studying Drama or English.