For more than 30 years Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, AUT’s inaugural Foundation Professor of Pacific Studies, has been teaching, researching and publishing on Pacific development issues - from national sustainable development through to gender and youth equity.
Her teaching experience ranges from early childhood, through to primary and tertiary level in the Pacific and in New Zealand.
Her experience is a blend of academic and community-based research, teaching and advocacy. She has lived and worked in various organisations in Samoa for almost 30 years. The majority of her time has been spent in New Zealand and Samoa but also in Fiji, Niue and Tokelau to name but a few.
Tagaloatele brings a blend of theoretical and practical hands on community-based approaches to her teaching, research and advocacy and always with the aim of informing policy level action.
Her research mainly involves critiquing the appropriateness of global models to Pacific peoples’ aspirations and lives today, including the impact of globalisation on family security.
Tagaloatele taught at the School of Agriculture, Alafua campus (Samoa), University of the South Pacific for over 15 years and then for 10 years held posts with UNDP, UNIFEM and UNESCO. She worked with national planning offices and NGOs in most Pacific countries before her return to NZ in 2006.
Tagaloatele joined AUT’s Institute of Public Policy in 2009. Her priority has now turned to supporting and mentoring the next generation of Pacific researchers and, researchers of the Pacific. She says her role as a research supervisor at AUT is an honour.
"My aim is always to pass the baton on; to help grow the next generation of committed and passionate Pacific researchers.”