Rachel's Doctor of Philosophy thesis stems from her own personal journey. Having a child diagnosed with cancer, Rachel spent a lot of her time in and out of hospital and at the Ronald McDonald house. There, she started to question how treatment providers tailored their services for Māori and Pacific whānau.
She says she is completing her personal mission: working with Ronald McDonald House to help those better tailor services to Māori and Pacific families, and Ronald McDonald House are open to her research.
Rachel is passionate about people and has interviewed over 20 whānau (as determined by them) for her thesis – as individuals - Nana, teacher, aunty, and as a group - siblings, grandparents, couples, for example.
Rachel aims to find out the coping mechanisms and strategies Māori and Pacific families draw upon when they are confronted with a child with a life threatening medical condition.
Rachel believes that AUT is the best place for her to study. Having worked here previously as a Research Officer and a Lecturer, Rachel was familiar with the system and the people. She believes the support here is great and the environment is friendly – “Just a great place to study.”