Dr Anabel Fernandez

Talking Matters Innovation Lead

Ana has a background in social science, communication, and social innovation. As Talking Matters Innovation lead Ana brings to the team her passion for equity and her critical thinking. Ana’s role is to keep a robust connection between Talking Matters’ strategy and action. Her experience creating and implementing culturally affirming strategies for social innovation support the team to deliver the TM Kaupapa while keeping whānau and communities at the centre as agents of change.

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, her research and professional practice have focused on cultural identity and culturally affirming ways of building knowledge, enabling action and enabling social change. Ana recently completed her PhD in social science with a study about how Caribbean people in Aotearoa construct her identity. As part of this study, Ana worked alongside her community in New Zealand to develop a new methodology grounded in Caribbean practices and worldviews.

As a migrant and speaker of English as a second language, Ana is passionate about the importance of heart languages and cultures in the wellbeing if whānau and pēpi.