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Sophia Newton

UNESCO Aotearoa Youth Leader

Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu.

Sophia is a history graduate, civil servant, heritage practitioner and researcher who is currently studying for her Masters at Victoria University of Wellington while working as a Programme Co-ordinator for the Mātauranga Māori Programme at Heritage New Zealand. Her team is responsible for organising wānanga, internships and grants that support the revitalisation of vulnerable mātauranga Māori around the country.

Sophia’s studies have enabled her to pursue her interests in the link between Māori social development and indigenous heritage through a Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies, an interest she has developed further through her current role at Heritage New Zealand.

In 2021, Sophia was the recipient of the Phillipa and Morvyn Williams Scholarship for postgraduate research as well as the Outward Bound Southern Cross Scholarship. In 2014, she embarked on an exchange to Argentina, an experience that introduced her to the similarities between indigenous peoples throughout Latin America and Māori in Aotearoa.

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