Kaden Wilson

Kaden Wilson

Policy Advisor, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Master of Human Rights
Bachelor of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Bachelor of Laws

Ngāti Rangitihi

Human rights is a key area humanity needs to grapple with going forward, says Kaden Wilson.

“For me, human rights is where law and humanities meet. The Master of Human Rights enabled me to use to my skillset in law and arts to challenge myself in diverse and unique ways, with papers and assessments that have real-life applicability. The teaching staff were extremely strong and included lecturers who are known for being leaders in different areas of human rights.”

The people are what made the programme, he says.

“While the topics were interesting and engaging, being able to have honest discussions in a challenging and stimulating environment was what made me a more thoughtful and engaged person after every class I attended. The people who gravitate to this degree are all seeking to push themselves to understand how we can implement human rights better in our society.”

Genuine care and encouragement
To him, AUT is more than a university, says Kaden who was offered the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship and the AUT Master of Human Rights Scholarship to support his studies.

“AUT is my academic home. Having done my undergraduate studies here, I knew that the staff at the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy are truly special. They engage and care about you on a level that is deeper than at many other schools. You know they genuinely want to work with you to help you reach your goals and achieve the best outcome.”

Deciding to enrol in the Master of Human Rights is only the beginning, says Kaden.

“In this programme, you decide how much you challenge yourself to learn, adapt and grow with the others taking the journey with you. In the end you decide to become the best human being that you can be.”

A new life in New York
After graduating at the end of 2017, Kaden went to New York, working for the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations. He got this sought-after internship through the AUT Internz International Scholarships Programme.

“It was a challenging role where I could apply every theoretical and practical skill I obtained in my studies, and develop them further. I took part in a range of activities including completing policy research, taking part in negotiations, and helping operationalise New Zealand's work and participation in different annual United Nation conferences.

“The Master of Human Rights, on top of my law and conflict resolution undergraduate degrees, enabled me to walk into the role extremely well rounded.”

He feels extremely grateful for the AUT Internz scholarship, says Kaden who has now returned to New Zealand and works as a policy advisor at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“I had seen the AUT Internz scholarships advertised around AUT, and I knew this was an opportunity I normally wouldn’t have had. The support from my fellow AUT Internz scholarship recipients in New York was amazing, and I now have personal and professional networks I’ll always be grateful for.”