Care and support

If you feel like you need support or guidance with your studies, talking to one of our friendly advisers can help.

Science student support advisers

Our Student Support Advisers are here to provide care and support during your time studying in Science. You can speak through your pastoral care needs with one of our friendly Student Support Advisers in a safe and judgment-free space. This may include concerns about managing your workload, how your wellbeing is impacting your studies or any personal/emotional needs you wish to talk through.

Dina Isber

Kia ora! My name is Dina, and I deeply care about students' success in their education journey. I aspire to motivate and encourage students to thrive in their studies. Through my experience as a student and an educator, I have realised the importance of having the appropriate support to enable students to navigate through challenges and succeed in their studies.

My career background is in the education sector with students of different backgrounds in New Zealand and overseas. During that time, I helped many students achieve their potential and succeed in their education.

I hope to meet you soon to provide my support and help during your studies at the
University of Auckland. 

Dina Isber
Student Support Adviser (First year transition students; fast track students)
Email: Dina Isber

Merrion Baker

Merrion Baker

Kia ora! My name is Merrion and I am a Student Support Adviser for Domestic and Equity students. I have a huge passion to support, empower and encourage young people to strive towards their individual goals and work towards overcoming any obstacles. I am particularly passionate about working with and supporting those who have additional barriers that might prevent them from making the life choices that they want to.

My career background is working in the health and social care sector with vulnerable adults and young people, both in Vancouver and London.

I look forward to meeting you, listening to you and supporting you through your studies during your journey at the University of Auckland.

Merrion Baker
Student Support Adviser (Psychology students; Chemical Sciences students and students with disabilities)
Email: Merrion Baker

Erica Farrelly

Kia ora koutou.

I’m Erica and I’m here to support you through your university journey and link you in with a range of services. I recognise these past years have been incredibly challenging and I am here to listen and talk to about this and any further barriers or challenges you may be experiencing.

A bit about me – I was on the pilot programme for the MATES Mentoring programme when I was in high-school. I am proud to have come from the South Auckland community and know how important it is to have a sense of community which I try to create on campus.

I have a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography and Development Studies. I lived in Argentina for nine months where I taught English as a second language and I continue to volunteer in the English language space.

Please send an email - I am happy to offer a Zoom or face-to-face appointment.

Erica Farrelly
Student Support Adviser (Biological Sciences students, Environment students, Exercise Sciences students and students of refugee background)
Email: Erica Farrelly

Lizzie Tafili 

Kia ora koutou and Tālofa lava! Ko Lizzie toku ingoa and I am a Student Support Adviser for ākonga Māori and Pasifika. I am passionate about journeying alongside students, by encouraging and empowering them to find whanaungatanga at the university and navigate them towards academic success.

I hold qualifications in biomedical science and youth development. My career background is in academic tuition and youth and community work across a range of contexts.

I am always up for a kōrero, and look forward to supporting you throughout your time at Waipapa Taumata Rau.

Lizzie Tafili 
Student Support Adviser (Māori and Pacific)
EmailLizzie Tafili

Abi Penaliggon

Abi Penaliggon

Kia ora! My name is Abi and I’m a Student Support Adviser. I’m here to work alongside you to handle any challenges you’re facing and connect you to the wide range of support services available at the University of Auckland. I’m particularly passionate about holding space for conversations around mental health and wellbeing, and I aim to provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment allowing students to feel comfortable sharing their problems.

I’ve always enjoyed working with learners of all ages, completing an Education Studies BA with the initial goal of becoming a teacher before pivoting toward working with university students. For almost 10 years I’ve been working at universities in both the UK and New Zealand, providing care and support to domestic and international students in their journeys through higher education.

Abi Penaliggon
Student Support Adviser (Mathematics students, Statistics students, Data Science students, Physics students, High Performance Sport students and Rainbow students)
Email: Abi Penaliggon

Dyan Catral

Dyan Catral

Kia ora! My name is Dyan and I’m one of the Student Support Advisers. I am incredibly passionate about supporting students’ holistic wellbeing and academic journey. I value creating meaningful connections and I’m always keen for a chat! I am here to listen to your experiences, link you with a range of support, and empower you to reach your full potential.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, both from the University of Auckland. My career background is in student support in Aotearoa New Zealand schools.

I look forward to connecting and journeying with you throughout your studies at Waipapa Taumata Rau!

Dyan Catral
Student Support Adviser (Computer Science students, Postgraduate students, students studying on articulation agreements)
Email: Dyan Catral

Make an appointment

Use our online booking system to make an appointment with one of our student support advisers. Appointments can be carried in person or via Zoom. More information is available on the booking site

If you don't have an appointment, feel free to contact the Student Hubs.