About us

Children watch a puppet show in Syria
Children watch a puppet show in Syria. Photographer: Walid Abo Rashed

The Centre for Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) was established as the result of a generous gift from the Chartwell Trust in 2019. The Centre researches how the arts have the potential to make a more socially just and equitable world through improving the quality of life of all citizens. The Centre is outwards focused and builds relationships with educators, artists, activists, policy makers and communities to research the power of the arts for social transformation. The Centre reaches out to the public through the Creative Thinking Project.  

The Centre hosts the Creative Thinking Project, the Creative School Index, Te Rito Toi, Arts Beyond Borders and The Artist*Academics.

CAST Team Role
Professor Peter O’Connor   Co-Director
Professor Selina Tusitala Marsh Co-Director
Tahnee Vo Centre Manager
Dr Moema Gregorzewski
Research Fellow
Dr Joanna Chu Research Fellow
Dr Jean M Uasike Allen Research Fellow
Dr Ying (Ingrid) Wang  Post-Doctoral Fellow
Professor Helen Sword Research Affiliate
Carine Umutoniwase   Research Assistant  
Honorary Associate Professor Jackie Kauli Research Affiliate
Naomi Pears-Scown Research Assistant   
Emily Gibson Research Assistant

Contact us: cast@auckland.ac.nz

Expert Advisory Board
Professor Anna Abrahams, University of Georgia 
Professor Robyn Ewing AM, The University of Sydney
Dr. Jackie Kauli, Queensland University of Technology
Professor Persephone Sextou, Canterbury Christ Church University
Professor Marina Henriques Coutinho, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Dr. Te Oti Rakena, University of Auckland
Professor Vivianne Juguero, University of Stavanger
Dr. Pala Molisa, Manukau Institute of Technology
Oversight Board
Professor Mark Barrow (Chair), Faculty of Education and Social Work
Professor Andrew Barrie, Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries
Associate Professor Aaron Wilson, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Associate Professor Vivienne Elizabeth, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Jacinta Oldehaver, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Dr. Helene Connor, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Amy Malcolm, Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Bevan Iles, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Sue Gardiner, Chartwell Trust