Dr Radilaite Cammock migrated to New Zealand from Fiji with her parents and siblings in 1996 and settled in Hamilton. Although she now calls New Zealand home, she has not forgotten where she has come from.
“It gives me confidence to know in everything I do, I’m representing my family, my village and my country. It drives my passion for what I do.
Radilaite completed a Bachelor of Science in 2008, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health in 2009 and a Master of Public Health in 2010, all from the University of Otago.
After completing her Master’s thesis, where she looked at reproduction health of women in Fiji from the perspective of health providers, she realised her research needed the perspectives of Fijian women themselves, and thus her PhD thesis was framed.
Radilaite completed a Doctor of Philosophy in 2016 and says she has a personal connection with her research.
“I am blessed to be able to say, I know this person’s story. It was such a privilege to hear them and now I feel as if there’s an obligation to share their stories and make sure what I share reflects what they said.”
Radilaite is now a lecturer at AUT as part of AUT’s Māori and Pacific Early Career Academic programme within the school of Public Health & Psychosocial Studies.
“This programme has been such a great opportunity for me to continue into academia. I really enjoy learning from people, having discussions, disagreeing with people and just learning.”
Radilaite says her heritage gives her a point of difference in her role.
“I have had a very traditional Fijian upbringing but a lot of it was in New Zealand and I studied in Dunedin for ten years, and have married someone with ancestors from Scotland.
“I think I bring all of this to my teaching and my research when I talk about people’s attitudes or influences and the social context.”