On Mondays we like to share a short format interview with one of our wider Gather community members. Just a handful of questions with a generous helping of everyday inspiration to tuck into over your morning cuppa. This week, meet Monique.
Monique has selected her optional background vibe for you this week, Guru by NZ musician, Ladi6:
"My job requires everyday ongoing learning about different peoples, perspectives and cultures. It requires empathy in understanding situations, and pragmatism in solving them."
What part(s) of the world do you call home?
Both New Zealand and London are home to me. All of New Zealand because wherever I am in NZ, I look around and feel the roots of my whakapapa. My mother is Māori and I feel such a connection to my ancestry wherever I am in the world but always feel most grounded when standing in Aotearoa. It took time but London has also become home. The city has completely won me over with the people from all corners of the world and culture on constant offer.
What is your industry, hustle, current project or passion?
I work for the New Zealand government in London. My job requires everyday ongoing learning about different peoples, perspectives and cultures. It requires empathy in understanding situations, and pragmatism in solving them. It is a dream job in the opportunities it presents for building knowledge everyday.
Outside of work, my 2021 endeavour has been reprioritising my love for reading. I have always read, however in recent years less so. I had fallen into the trap of reading only when a new release I had been anticipating came out. This year, I am committed to reading a little everyday and am writing up a little thought/review for every book on goodreads. I am trying not to get too obsessed with the number of books, but am not so secretly quite proud of the 29 books I have thus far read in 2021. This is a quiet and personal project, however it is succeeding at bringing me eons of joy. What’s an important moment that signified a first step towards where you are today? This one is tough! I think when I first decided to pick up Politics at University. It hadn't been the plan, but since that day I haven't looked back. That decision set me on my current career path, landed me a job in London and has allowed me to find true drive in understanding the way our world is run and how this needs to change to better serve all of its residents. What is a moment you are proud of? Moving to London was a big one for me. People often do not talk about how hard those first few months in a new city/country are! It was always the dream to travel but upon arriving and fully realising I had left behind my incredible family and beyond fantastic friends to move to a city where I knew no one was slightly terrifying. As most in Gather know, it takes work to meet new people, build new relationships and find a brand new support system. I am so glad I committed to it.
What advice would you give your younger self today? Probably to chill out a little! Something along the lines of enjoy the moment and go to more gigs with your friends instead of forever panicking about how much is in the savings account.
In one word, what is the most important thing to you in life?
Either coffee or people... let's go with people.
Where can we find you?