Faculty Rainbow contacts and groups

Faculty Rainbow groups are social and academic communities for staff and students.

Find out about forms of support for Rainbow students from queer rights officer Lavi Abitbol.

Faculty contacts

Faculty Rainbow contacts include student advisers who can help answer your questions.


Caroline Blyth, Senior Lecturer: c.blyth@auckland.ac.nz

Ashley Flavell, Student Experience Adviser: a.flavell@auckland.ac.nz

Hidden Perspectives

Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Geoffrey Handsfield, Research Fellow - Aotearoa ECR: g.handsfield@auckland.ac.nz

ABI Equity Committee


Queer Rights Officer Lavi Abitbol: qro@ausa.org.nz

AUSA executive roles


Shana Merrifield, Student Development Adviser: shana.merrifield@auckland.ac.nz

Rainbow Business

Creative Arts and Industries

Tom Owen, PTF Architecture, Student Academic Services and Engagement Manager: t.owen@auckland.ac.nz

Education and Social Work

Tim Baice, Co-ordinator Pasifika Success: t.baice@auckland.ac.nz

Education and Social Work Student Centre


Alexandra Pennycuick, doctoral candidate: a.pennycuick@auckland.ac.nz

Rainbow Engineering Network


Professor Jane Kelsey: j.kelsey@auckland.ac.nz

Ron Paterson, Professional Teaching Fellow: r.paterson@auckland.ac.nz

Rainbow Law - join private Facebook group.

Liggins Institute

Jen Rogers, Equity Committee chair: jenny.rogers@auckland.ac.nz

Medical and Health Sciences

Associate Professor Trecia Wouldes, Associate Dean (Equity): t.wouldes@auckland.ac.nz

Meg Davis, Student Support Adviser: meg.davis@auckland.ac.nz

Daniel Heke, Student Support Adviser: d.heke@auckland.ac.nz



Glenda Haines, Student and Academic Services Manager: rainbowscience@auckland.ac.nz

Rainbow Science Network

The University of Auckland PGSA Rainbow Group

The University of Auckland’s PGSA (Postgraduate Students Association) is a registered organisation run by Postgraduate Students, and is all about giving the most rewarding student experience possible. Having been established for over a decade, we are very aware that many postgrad students have unique challenges. Whether that be coming from out of town/overseas, juggling responsibilities, or encountering significant personal changes. We are also aware that PG study is completely different to UG study, and requires its own class of academic guidance, wellbeing support, and peer support.

Looking to the future, we have adapted how we function as an organisation, and one of our biggest changes is the establishment of our ‘Rainbow Officer’ role. Lots has been done to establish “acceptance” in New Zealand, but there is more work to be done around “inclusion”, so that is our Rainbow Officer’s main focus this year! We are working with both the university equity staff and AUSA to develop a new and all-inclusive umbrella network across our different campuses, bringing new initiatives, dedicated spaces, and more ways for people to connect, i.e. fun events and contests! We are also working to develop more chances for students to display their LGBTQI+ research within the wider community, by establishing prizes within existing competitions, and establishing our own sponsored competitions. The relationships we have established thus far are promising, and we look forward to long-lasting and engaging relationships throughout the various university communities, and being able to provide an inclusive environment for queer postgraduate students.

Women in Engineering

The Women in Engineering Network (WEN) understands that as a network that operates on a gendered basis, inclusion in the network may be an issue for trans students. WEN strives to be inclusive to anyone who identifies as a woman and is studying engineering. However, the mailing list for WEN is generated from the central University server, which may not record the gender identity of students correctly. If you are not currently receiving emails from WEN and would like to, or if you are currently receiving emails and would like to stop receiving them, please contact  Naomi Fleming (Women in Engineering Adviser).