Leasiosiofa’asisina Max Galu came to New Zealand from Samoa when he was seven years old and has enjoyed his chosen vocation in education for almost forty years.
He has been a school teacher, deputy principal and principal in primary and intermediate schools throughout Auckland.
When Max accepted a position at AUT in 2009 as a lecturer in specialised papers, he realised that continuing his studies was not out of his reach, and started his Doctor of Education.
With a passion for seeing more Pacific teachers in leadership roles, Max is basing his thesis around inspiring other Pacific teachers to lead.
He is sharing the journey of eight Samoan principals in New Zealand and comparing it to his own experience. Through a series of interviews he explored the qualities required for leadership, different principles they followed and whether identifying as Samoan made a difference to their journey.
It was important to Max that his interviewees were comfortable and respected. Samoan protocol was observed including mealofa/gifts and of course, there was food at each meeting.
Max adopted the Samoan methodology: talanoa and talanoaga, which respects the Samoan and Pacific values that allows the person being interviewed to talk without interruption.