Jean M Uasike Allen is a scholar of Tongan (Makaunga and Kolovai [Tongatapu]; Tefisi [Vava'u]) and European heritage, born and raised in South Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. She is a lecturer in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, and a research fellow in the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation, within the Faculty of Education and Social Work.
Jean’s previous career was as a primary school teacher where she taught across all levels predominantly in the Catholic School sector. Prior to her role at the University of Auckland, she was a lecture and programme coordinator for the BHSc in Public and Environmental Health, in the School of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
Jean has always had a passion for education, justice, and her community of South Auckland. She had worked extensively with South Auckland youth, exploring their experiences of health education and schooling at the intersections of cultural knowledge, family expectations, gender, and ethnicity. She has a strong interest in arts-based research and representation, which has led her to include poetry and ngatu (tapa making) in her work. Beyond her artistic and socially conscious work, Jean loves to practice Taekwon-Do, boxing and swimming.