Moeata Pele Keil

Moeata is studying for a PhD in Sociology.

Moeata Pele Keil

"I am the first in my family to graduate from university.

"I never imagined on my first day of university that one day I would be working towards my PhD, though reflecting back, what has been consistent is the support that I have received from my family and that has propelled and inspired me further.

"My research projects explores the way that familial life is (re)organised, (re)negotiated and (re)enacted in Pacific post-separation families.

"While there is a growing body of scholarship on the ever-changing nature of familial life, the lived experiences of Pacific families — particularly Pacific mothers and fathers — have yet to be explored in any depth.

"Focusing exclusively on Pacific mothers and fathers facilitates a discussion of some of the different ways that ethnicity and gender shape Pacific parents’ understandings, expectations and experiences of everyday familial life in the context of separation.

"I have been so moved by the voices and experiences of Pacific parents and particularly how they navigate life after separation that my areas of interest have continued to broaden over time.

"I had the opportunity to lecture two courses over the last two years and this experience has fuelled my passion. I love both the researching and teaching aspects of the job, particularly interacting and engaging with students.

"Since moving to New Zealand from Samoa over 10 years ago, I have built long-standing relationships, both outside of the University and within it.

"My mentor and role-model is here at the University of Auckland, so when it was time to apply to a PhD programme, Auckland was the first and obvious choice for me."

Find out more about studying Sociology