New Zealand-born Leon Iusitini is of Cook Island, Samoan and Pakeha descent. He has been researching and working on the Pacific Islands Families Study at AUT for nearly 10 years. In his role as a Senior Research Officer, Leon is involved in the entire research process, from applying for research funding to publishing journal articles. His role allows him to fully dedicate himself to his research and social justice issues.
From a very young age Leon was encouraged by his family to do what he wanted to do. After completing a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland in 2005, Leon undertook a Master of Arts from AUT, on the political participation of Pacific people, graduating in 2013.
This has always been Leon’s passion - working with Pacific people - which is what attracted him to his role at AUT.
Leon says AUT has “always been a really collegial place to work”. Through shared experiences and mentoring he has developed his skills and furthered his career. When asked what makes him proud Leon says it felt good to finish his Master’s thesis and he was happy with it as a “piece of work.” He is always pleased whenever one of his new journal articles is published.
Leon says as a Pacific researcher, his role is both research and promoting the interests of Pacific people in New Zealand.