Arohanoa talks about her whakapapa within two different ethnicities in Māori and European. Growing up her whānau moved to Australia to follow her parents’ work and research in Mental Health, with this though her grandmother was cautious of Arohanoa and her siblings having Māori names and what they might be subject to over in Australia.
However Arohanoa shares that her parents made the effort to take their culture over to Australia with them, they kept their first names and taught people how to pronounce them and stayed connected to who they were as Māori in Australia, which is something that Arohanoa is thankful for.
A massive part of Arohnoa’s identity is being known as an artist. She shares that she once got asked what do you paint? Taken back a little she thought about it and she knows that she paints who she is and where she is from, once again carrying that strong foundation of her whakapapa with her no matter where her journey in life takes her.
Aronanoa also talks to us about the importance of giving back to yourself and a wahine. She talks about how we often give to others, and this is something that her parents did and so she does too, however it is important to take care of your own self to ensure you are ready to help others!
Along this kaupapa of Arohanoa’s she also wants her artwork and paintings to be relatable to women within society. To give them the voice to stand up and be proud of who they are and voice their opinions, struggles and thoughts because often we are all struggling through the same thing.