________

COMBATING
RISING SEAS

MahMah. PHD IN ENVIRONMENTAL
& CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY.

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MahMah's Story


UC offers MahMah the opportunity to keep asking questions and be supported on her research journey. Find out more about what she gets up to.

I stepped into a room full of people with the same sense of humour and love of food as me! I felt completely at home for once.

Learning here isn't about regurgitation, it unlocks your desire to think. The world needs different modes of thinking. I am grateful every day to be able to do what I want, to make a difference and be supported on my journey.

Proudest achievement so far?

Definitely getting my PhD scholarship! My involvement with the Pacifica community has given me some amazing opportunities.

Tell us about your Pacifica experience!

I grew up in a small town on the West Coast where I didn't get to explore any of my cultural heritage. When I came to UC I got an invite to a Pacifica orientation. I stepped into a room full of people with the same sense of humour and love of food as me! I felt completely at home for once. It was such a welcoming environment.

You've been a Pacifica mentor too?

Yes, we help first year Pacifica students integrate into uni life. Sometimes it can be hard for newcomers because they have different upbringings and cultural values. A lot come straight from the islands. Our role is to be a friendly face and help them ease into uni. I also help out with tons of Pacifica events. Food, sport, talent – we have heaps!

How's the overall diversity on campus?

Amazing. There's such a wide range of people here. It's a very diverse and tolerant campus.

Any pivotal moments for you?

In second year I took a course on the environment. That course completely changed my life! It was absolutely eye-opening. Nothing was sugar-coated. I became really passionate about global warming, which is a very real issue especially in the Pacific region. Our cultures will literally disappear if we don't act.

What was the outcome of that discovery?

It gave me a sense that I have a really important role to play. Suddenly it became a question of ‘what can I do'? I became president of Fossil Free UC and decided to pursue my PhD. I want to make a difference as fast as I can.

How would you sum up what UC offers?

It encourages you to question everything. Learning here isn't about regurgitation, it unlocks your desire to think. The world needs different modes of thinking. I am grateful every day to be able to do what I want, to make a difference and be supported on my journey.