Grassroots – A Club like No Udder

Grassroots is the University of Auckland Rural Health Club.

If you’re a Nursing, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Medical Imaging, or Audiology student at UoA, you can join us!

We are all about promoting rural health and rural health careers. We put on awesome educational, sporting and social events which showcase what rural life has to offer those in the health field.

Our events are geared not just towards rural students – everyone is encouraged to get a taste of what rural healthcare entails.  So get involved and go hard. Rural Health. Hard.

Make sure to like us on Facebook – Grassroots Rural Health Club

Follow us on Instagram –

Meet the 2022 team:


Kate Dunstall

[email protected]

Kia ora koutou katoa! It is a privilege to be the President of Grassroots for 2022. This club has a proud history of exposing students to rural health and rural lifestyles in Aotearoa. We do this by immersing students in rural communities, running rural flavoured events, and running trips and Noho Marae across the North Island. For 2022, we have a vast array of trips and events planned, and I encourage you all to get amongst. Getting involved will open your eyes to the rewarding working environment of rural health careers and will give you a taster of a lifestyle you can’t get in the city. I grew up in Waihi Beach, a small town at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula. I then spent three years at the University of Otago doing my BSc in Psychology and Māori Studies. I spent Fourth Year placed in Waikato Hospital and I am now a Fifth Year Medical Student in the Pūkawakawa Cohort. I’m doing my placement mainly out of Whangārei Hospital up north with a stint in the Bay of Islands. My upbringing and life path thus far have highlighted the great aspects of living and growing up in a rural community, and have contrasted the significant inequities our rural communities face. This is a multifaceted issue, and a large aspect of this issue is health. Grassroots is part of an effort to get in behind rural health and we strive for the betterment of our communities across the motu. So sign up, show face, and get involved with what we have to offer, you won’t regret it!-


Holly Cook

Communications Officer
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Kia ora koutou katoa!

I’m your Communications Officer for 2022!

My goal is to strengthen the communications between Grassroots and other organisations such as SoRHA, RGPN, and AUMSA. I’m also in charge of online presence, so go like us on Facebook and Instagram! I have held varied roles before but my biggest aim is to encourage and promote rural, Māori and women’s health.

I’m from the North, born in Whangarei – but like any good Northland girl my family comes from all over.

I would always love to chat – or for anyone to let me know of exciting things coming up.

Contact me via email or dm

Tommy Hayes

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Kody Peterson and Harrison Edwards

Māori & Pacific Advocacy Reps
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Ko Tāwhitirahi te maunga

Ko Parengarenga te moana

Ko Awapoka te awa 

Ko Māmari te waka

Ko Pōtahi te marae

Ko Te Aupōuri te iwi

Ko Kody Peterson tōku Ingoa

Kia Ora koutou, 

My name is Kody Peterson, and I am one of the Māori and Pacific representatives for 2022. 

I am currently in my third year of Medicine with an aim to become a GP and return to serve my rural community in the Far North. I am passionate about rural health because I have seen the health inequities that affect the people of my small-town community. When I am not busy studying you can find me at the beach, in the garden or making taonga puoro (Māori instruments). I look forward to a great year with Grassroots. Ngā mihi nui. 


Ko Ruahine tōku maunga 

Ko Makaretu tōku awa 

Ko Tākitīmu tōku waka 

Ko Ngā Whātuiapiti tōku hapu 

Ko Rakautatahi tōku Marae 

Ko Andrea rāua ko Harry ōku mātua 

Ko Harrison taku ingoa 

Norei ra, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatau katoa 

Kia ora e te iwi! 

My name is Harrison Edwards and I am a third year medical student in addition to being one of your 2022 Māori and Pacific Advocacy Reps for Grassroots. I am excited to welcome and endorse tikanga and indigenous knowledge into rural health and to our FMHS tauira. 

Mauri Ora!


Joseph Mettrick and Alexis Todd

Social Reps
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Kia ora koutou katoa. We’re Joe and Alexis and we’re super excited to be the grassroots social reps for 2022. We’re aiming to make 2022 a year where everyone can get involved in some awesome events! We can’t wait to get amongst and promote grassroots to the wider faculty. We’re both starting our fifth year in Waitematā DHB this year after spending last year down in the mighty Waikato.

Tara Simpson and Bailey Anderson

Audiology Reps
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Brooke Kelly

Medical Imaging Rep
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Kia ora, My name is Brooke.

I’m honoured to be the Medical Imaging representative this year, as I enter my second clinical year. I live in a small semi-rural town northwest of Auckland. I love the small town feel and am passionate about sharing the wonders of rural life and increasing interest in rural health care with my fellow classmates.

I’m looking forward to planning some amazing rural health events this year, teaching young rural kids about radiography and planning an insightful experience in a rural hospital for my cohort. I look forward to joining the team helping to end rural health inequalities as radiography continues to advance at a rapid pace, ensuring rural areas are included as we progress.


Nursing Reps
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Screen Shot 2021-12-23 at 10.26.09 AM

Tyla Grafas

Taranaki Site Rep
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 Kia ora, my name is Tyla, and I am the Taranaki site rep for 2022. A bit about me, I’m probably best known for cutting shapes in the dance circles at AUMSA social events or getting a bit too competitive on the social netball court. I have really enjoyed working in Waikato this year for my fourth-year placement. However, I am super excited to get down to Taranaki in 2022 with a great group of students and get stuck in!

In my role I hope to organise some great events for our lovely little cohort as well as welcome any other students spread across the island that want to come get a taste of what Taranaki is like. Of course, I also aim to communicate and advocate for the students in Taranaki and overall hope we all have an awesome year. 

RSV photo

Likhit Dukkipati and Fraser MacKinlay

Rural Schools Visits Reps
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Kia ora, we are Likhit and Fraser, your School Visit Reps for 2022. We are so pumped to be part of Grassroots this year and can’t wait to organize some amazing school visits to promote health careers. We really want to show the young’uns of rural New Zealand what studying in a health field is like and encourage as many of them to do so. In our spare time we love a good yarn and following sports. We would love to meet all of you and get to work with you guys. Don’t be afraid to come say hi!


William Bramley

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Kia Ora, my name is Will and I come originally from the Waikato/ King Country area, where I grew up. I initially studied biochemistry at Otago, Auckland and Brisbane before taking on medicine. I am currently a 5th year medical student based out of Whangārei Hospital. One of my interests are in in rural medicine and addressing health inequities in the rural sector. I’m stoked to be the SORHA (Students of Rural Health Aotearoa) representative for grassroots this year. My main goal for this year is to focus on promoting collaboration with SORHA, as well as promoting the growth and collaboration with other tertiary rural health interest groups around the country. 



Cameron Hayes

Vice-President Internal
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G’day I’m Cam and it’s a privilege to be Vice president Internal for 2022. I grew up in Timaru and I’m a proud Cantabrian. From my undergraduate degree in Otago, to a small stint at South Canterbury DHB, to the bustling streets of Auckland and then the mighty Waikato my journey through life has opened my eyes to the inequities of health in rural and regional centers across Aotearoa. This is why I do my work with grassroots and enjoy making change with our amazing exec. This year I have a few projects that I want to get off the ground in UoA’s rural sites and I can’t wait to see the growth of these projects and see the change to Aotearoa’s communities in the years to come. So come get amongst the amazing events and experiences this club has to offer and get behind rural health for the good of Aotearoa’s future.

George Gaimster

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Photo 11-11-21, 10 38 58 AM

Daniel Lavin and Aryan Katyal

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Ki ora grassroot family, the names Dan youngest of 10 siblings. I hail from Whanganui aka Whanga-Vegas the greatest country in New Zealand. Needless to say I love everything outdoors or at least outside of Auckland. Indeed, super excited to be RRAS rep for 2021. Aryan and I are eager to shower some rural love in the wider medical community and get everyone on board for rural health! We hope to make RRAS people love where they study and feel supported. Hope to see you all on campus!


Geraldine Atchico and Sona Ramilan

Education Reps
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Kia Ora! I’m Geraldine Atchico, born in the Philippines but raised in Rotorua surrounded by several lakes which I ironically have never enjoyed because your girl can’t swim. To make up for my lack of swimming ability, I developed crazy communication skills and am always down for a good yarn over a cheeky Soy Mocha – so please come and chat!! and I’m Sona Ramilan, aka your local curry girl. I was born in Sri Lanka but I’ve grown up in four countries and seven cities. I love being surrounded by people, and will always make time for a solid chat and I’ll never say no to getting food !! As your Grassroots Education Reps, we appreciate the importance of education – and we’ll be here to facilitate an environment where we can all thrive, not just survive. Our vision is to create an inclusive community, develop new strategies to make learning more effective and ensure that education means much more than just what we learn in lectures!


Briaan Brown-Sharpe and Dayna Smith

Sports and Welfare Reps
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We are Dayna and Briaan! We are delighted to be the Grassroots Sports and Welfare Representatives for 2022!

We are two small towns girls hailing from the mighty Manawatū!! We began our journey in Dirty Dunners studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology.

We both spend copious amounts of time on all activities outdoors from hiking to surfing to snowboarding! So we have lots of exciting events up our sleeves for this year!!

This year we are aiming to organise many wholesome events to support all medical students by focusing on the domains of mental health, physical health, arts, and the solidifications of friendships.

We can’t wait to get amongst it all and meet everyone!!! Bring on 2022!!!!!


Ash Shen

Pharmacy Rep
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Kia ora everyone!

I’m Ash, a third year pharmacy student and the 2022 Pharmacy Grassroots rep. I grew up in Te Awamutu and have first hand seen the health disparities that lie in Aotearoa. Pharmacy is an ever growing health profession and I strive to continue to educate students at FMHS and Pharmacy about the careers that are present within rural communities in Aotearoa.

I am super excited to be part of the Grassroots team and engage with rural events!!


Emma Jamieson

Optometry Rep
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Evangeline Liddicoat

Pūkawakawa Site Rep
p[email protected]
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Ko Evangeline Liddicoat tōku ingoa.


I grew up in Waipapakauri in Te Tai Tokerau where my whānau still are but have spent the last 6 years in Auckland completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences before entering medicine as a postgraduate student. I am excited to be returning to Te Tai Tokerau this year and be able to work within my community and represent Pūkawakawa as the student representative.

I am passionate about reducing health inequities particularly among tangata whenua, and have an interest also in rural health and the equitable distribution of health resources.

For my site, I am hoping to establish whakawhanaungatanga for students in Te Tai Tokerau and help students feel connected to the different sites they go to on for their placements. I want to help students get the most out of their time and increase the chance that they will return to give back to these communities as health professionals. For the community, I am also hoping to facilitate events that help expose more Northlanders to different careers in health.

Feel free to message or email me with any pātai. Cheers to 2022 whānau.


Blair Lowry

Bay of Plenty Site Rep

My name is Blair and I am the Bay of Plenty (BOP) site rep for 2022. I will be a Trainee Intern at Tauranga Hospital this year. I am really excited for the year to come and fostering a sense of community across the different medical year levels, especially giving support to the Y5 R-R students who are situated across Whakatane and Tauranga.

Having served as President and RRAS rep on Grassroots previously, I am excited to be back and joining an awesome organisation – and definitely recommend everyone to join Grassroots. There are some amazing opportunities to take part in, and have met a wide group of friends from all around the motu through this club. Rural health is an area I am passionate about, and have thoroughly enjoyed visiting the rural communities and learning from their experiences and challenges – definitely recommend attending the NZ Rural Health Conference if you can! I also am on the AUMSA education executive, and can act as a voice for all students through this avenue – and am excited to advocate for our students who are away from Auckland.

Some of my goals for the year revolve around us students coming together as a community, either through sports activities, social events, academic support, and pastoral care – so keep posted on the BOP FB page for more details regarding these through the year. We are keen for students to complete their placement in BOP, and am happy to talk about the different programmes there, as well as hosting people down in the middle of the year to experience what is to offer!

Hit me up if you have any questions about the site or about how I can support some of your ideas or address any concerns.

Ngā mihi nui,



Nicola-Mary Geraghty

Waikato Regional-Rural Site Rep
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Kia Ora, my name is Nicky (she/her) and I am originally from the lovely, the beautiful, the breathtaking Ohakune. I grew up under the majestic maunga, Ruapehu. From there I went to Dunedin and then made it to the big smoke. This will be my third year on Grassroots and I’m still just as stoked to be a part of it as when I began. I’m stepping down from my VP role to take on a new site rep role, that is new for Grassroots. Can’t wait to show what rural NZ has to offer!! 💕