Claudia Gonnelli

Claudia Gonnelli
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Kia ora,

I am a Geographer, with a research focus in renewable energy, public participation, gender, and community energy. After completing my Masters degree in the Italy in political science and international relations with a focus on China's energy transition, I enrolled in a PhD at the University of Auckland comparing participatory process around wind farm proposals in Italy and New Zealand. During my PhD, I was a Graduate teaching assistant for a breadth of Environmental Science courses, bringing a political science lens to environmental geographies. Since 2019 I have been teaching Environmental management at Degree and Graduate Diploma level at SIT, specifically renewable energy, GIS, and conservation classes.

Recently I have become involved in a research project focusing on gender equality in the energy sector and the overall gendered nature of the current energy transitions. I have also actively been involved in the editing of a book exploring the intersectionality between genders, environmental management, and indigenous groups. These recent projects have helped me bridge my academic work and a life-long interest in gender relations, which is embedded in my experiences growing up the macho Italian society. Similarly, as a female migrant working in the hospitality industry for more than a decade, I have regularly faced overt and covert sexism and harassment, either personally or indirectly. The ways in which my management dealt or, in some cases, did not deal with the issues have made me a vocal supporter of the need for policies dedicated to sexual harassment prevention.

While working at the University of Auckland, I was also in the unfortunate position to be involved in a disciplinary action against one student accused of harassing a classmate. This deplorable experience forced me to confront the reality of pervasive sexism and violence still existing in higher education and reinforced my feminist beliefs. I bring these experiences to the classroom every day and strive to create a safe environment where students of all genders can interact as true equals. As an educator I strongly believe we need to practice what we teach. With its capacity to enforce sector-wide policies and monitor their implementation, the TEU is a unique place not only to help break existing gender barrier, including equal value of paid and unpaid work, but to overall create a safe and healthy workplace and work-culture.

Given my academic work and life-experience, I believe I can give a significant contribution to the efforts of the National Women's Committee to advocate and implement measures to support gender equity across tertiary institutions.


Claudia Gonnelli