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Meet the


Get to know the team a bit more!

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Dr Ágnes (Ági) Szabó, Principal Investigator

I moved to Aotearoa New Zealand from my home country, Hungary, to pursue a PhD in Cross-cultural Psychology. My doctoral work investigated how people develop a new sense of identity as migrants. Shortly after finishing my PhD, I joined the Health and Ageing Research Team at Massey University, where I worked on research exploring how life course experiences of inequalities, housing and social support influence health outcomes in older age. After working several years in both ageing and migration research, I was able to bring together my two passions in the Growing Old in an Adopted Land project, when I was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship by The Royal Society–Te Apārangi. I am passionate about working with communities and I want to do research that benefits people and society. My hope is that the findings of this project will not only influence our current policies but will also shape the future of coming generations to ensure we can all live a good life.

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Vy Trần, PhD Student, Research Assistant

I was born and raised in Vietnam. My journey to Aotearoa New Zealand started with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, which was a discipline I was interested in at the time. I then did a research internship with Dr. (Ági) Szabó to enhance quantitative research skills. I had been developing an interest in contextualising my understanding of psychology, which led me to the Master of Health Psychology programme. For my thesis, I conducted a narrative inquiry into Vietnamese migrants' experiences of disaster risk reduction. While doing my master's, I became curious about the social relations of Māori people and Asian migrants in Aotearoa. As such, I'm currently exploring this topic in the context of healthcare settings for my PhD in Health and Wellbeing.

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Tram Nguyen, PhD Candidate

Kia ora, I’m Tram. I have been in Wellington for 3 years. I did my Bachelor of Psychology in Vietnam, then I moved to Wellington for my Masters in Cross-cultural Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. I’m currently a PhD candidate in Health and Wellbeing at VUW. My PhD is looking at ageing immigrants’ experiences of grieving and their cultural rituals in New Zealand.


Thilanthi Kaluarachchige Dona, Master's Student

Kia ora, I am Thilanthi, from Sri Lanka. I completed my bachelor’s and graduate studies in Health in Australia and moved to New Zealand to pursue a Master’s degree in Health Research at Victoria University of Wellington. My research interests are centred around healthcare access among Asian migrants in New Zealand. I'm taking a quantitative approach to look at potential barriers faced by Asian migrant communities in accessing healthcare services here. Additionally, I'm exploring the prevalence of their utilisation of transnational health services. Through my research, my aim is to propose recommendations aimed at enhancing equitable access to healthcare services across diverse healthcare settings for this migrant group.

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Alumni, Graduates, and Past Research Assistants

Master's Students: 

SockHwee Tan

Research Assistants: 

Rachel Goodin

Vanessa Sieng

Amy Du

Myra McFarland-Tautau

Dr Panchamee Dharmadasa

Summer Scholars: 

Vy Tran

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