Professor of Pacific Studies
Faculty of Culture and Society
From sustainable development to gender and youth equity, AUT’s foundation Professor of Pacific Studies Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop has a wealth of knowledge about issues affecting Pacific communities.
Professor Fairbairn-Dunlop has been researching and publishing on Pacific development issues for over 30 years and has lived and worked in various organisations in Samoa for just under that same amount of time. She draws on her New Zealand, Samoa and Pacific experiences as a playschool mother helper, primary school teacher, teachers' college lecturer through to university lecturer as well as her extensive involvement in women’s and youth NGO advocacy and community education programmes for this research. She sees growing a vibrant and robust Pacific post-graduate community at AUT as her key priority.
The majority of her time has been spent in New Zealand and Samoa but also Fiji, Niue and Tokelau. In the Pacific she has worked for most donor agencies and has held various UN posts (UNDP, UNIFEM and UNESCO). Her research mostly involves the critiquing of global models for their appropriateness to Pacific peoples especially how these influence the family systems, including issues of sustainable development, family security and family-based violence.
In addition to her role with the university she coordinates the twice monthly sessions of the national Pacific Post Graduate Talanoa by access grid which is now funded by AUT.
Currently Professor Fairbairn-Dunlop is chair of the Health Research Council Pacific team and sits on various Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health committees, the Social Sciences committee of the Royal Society and the UNESCO Social Sciences Committee.