Jazz Robson

Jazz Robson

Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of Arts with First Class Honours
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology

Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa

She is passionate about championing children’s rights, says Jazz Robson who is currently completing a PhD focused on participation rights of young people.

“Participation rights, enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, were designed to be inalienable for all children. However, given their essence, they are also the most contentious of all children’s rights, especially in law and policy discourse. For my PhD thesis I’m particularly focusing on children’s right to have their views taken into account when adults are making decisions that affect their lives.

“I’m hoping that this thesis will provide a platform for future research that is dedicated to ensuring young people’s rights are protected and adhered to by the justice system. Most importantly, my research is giving a voice to those in the justice system who are often silenced: our tamariki.”

Fulfilling a promise
There is also a personal reason behind her PhD research, says Jazz whose thesis is supervised by Professor Marilyn Waring, Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies and Dr Kirsten Hanna.

“My PhD is fulfilling a promise I made to my Uncle John who was an inspiring academic, mentor and champion educator for New Zealand tamariki.

“I hope that one day, by completing my PhD, I can follow in his footsteps and make a positive difference, in policy and law, for all New Zealand tamariki,” says Jazz whose research is supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor Doctoral Scholarship.

Lighting the fire
She has always been interested in society and people, says Jazz who has already completed a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social sciences and public policy at AUT.

“From a young age, I was highly observant and curious about the world around me. I wanted to know what makes humans human, and what role society plays in shaping who we are and what we become. The Bachelor of Arts in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy provided me with the answers I was looking for and made me curious enough to keep on studying.”

Her studies also helped her find her passion, Jazz says.

“In my years of studying here at AUT, I was fortunate to have an academic mentor whose passion for children, children’s rights and child policy kindled my passion for this area of study. It was through her influence and mentorship that I found my purpose and where I ‘fit’ in academia. Indeed, when you find what makes you feel truly alive you should stick to it.”