Miss Ash Gillon

Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma in Arts, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health specialising in Māori Health, Master of Public Health First Class Honours

Profile Image
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Ko Pūtauaki te maunga

Ko Rangitaiki te awa

Ko Mataatua te waka

Ko Tu Teao te marae

Ko Ngā Maihi te hapū

Ko Ngāti Awa te iwi

Ko Wairaka te tipuna.

Ko Ashlea Gillon tōku ingoa.

I'm a Kaupapa Māori trans-disciplinary researcher and a doctoral candidate at The University of Auckland. I'm undertaking a PhD in Te Wānanga o Waipapa and the School of Psychology, exploring Fat Indigenous Women’s body sovereignty. I also work as a researcher with Dr Hinekura Smith and Dr 'Ema Wolfgramm-Foliaki, and Associate Professor Melinda Webber on on a number of research projects. 


Research | Current

2018-2021: Body Sovereignty and the Intersecting Isms

Supervisors: Professor Tracey McIntoshDr Jade Le Grice

This Kaupapa Māori doctoral research seeks to answer the question: How do Indigenous women enact body sovereignty (as resistance) within multiple systems of oppression. This project intends to prioritise Māori women's experiences, views, conceptualisations and embodiments of body sovereignty within colonial/white un-settler socieites, how they experience and are affected by intersecting systems of racism, sexism and fatism.. 

2015-2016: "Oh you don't look Māori​": Social Ascription and Te Haerenga o Tuakiri: The Journey of Identity.

Supervisors: Dr Donna Cormack, Dr Belinda Borell

This Kaupapa Māori explored socially assigned ethnicity for Māori who self-reported they get assigned as Pākehā often. Interviews were untaken with ten participants, 9 female and 1 male, who worked or studied at an Auckland University. Utilising a thematic analysis three meta-themes were identified in relation to identity processes: Claims of Identity; Challenges to Identity; and Reinforcement of Identity. These illustrated the complex ways colonisation influences identity through racism, white privilege, white advantage, authenticity and essentialism, and the awareness participants had of these colonial contexts.

Full text here

Teaching | Current

MAORI 330 Lecturer 2020

MAORIHTH 701 Tutor 2016-2019

MAORIHTH 301 Tutor 2017


2018 - New Horizons for Women Trust Hine Kahukura and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Wāhine Ora Award 

2018 - The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship 


MAI Ki Tāmaki Co-ordinator 2020

Areas of expertise


  • Body Sovereignty
  • Fat studies / Fatism
  • (Māori) Identity
  • Racism and ethnicity
  • Kaupapa Māori theories and methodologies
  • Indigenous education and pedagogy
  • Māori and Indigenous health


Committees/Professional groups/Services

MAI Ki Tāmaki

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 121
New Zealand