Dr Robbie Francis Watene

In 2013 Robbie was given the opportunity to intern for an international disability rights group in Mexico. Having witnessed first hand the shocking conditions many people with disabilities are forced to live in, she decided to become an active part of the solution. So in 2014 she and her friends co-founded The Lucy Foundation.

Robbie, who lives with a disability herself, is particularly passionate about developing more inclusive, safer and peaceful communities through sustainable and collaborative initiatives. Having studied International Conflict Resolution and Mediation in Israel-Palestine, Robbie recently passed with no revisions her PhD at the University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Zealand. The focus of her research was inclusive and accessible research methodologies, peacebuilding, and the experiences of people with disabilities during conflict and displacement.

Robbie has worked as an advisor to the New Zealand government on various strategies, and currently sits on three governance boards. She also works as a Senior Researcher at the Donald Beasley Institute, and is Project Lead for the Disabled Person-Led Monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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