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our whakapapa

The origin story of Project Village

how it began

The Village Project was based on an earlier piece of research devised by the principal investigator, Julia. As a parent of a trans child, Julia wanted to speak to people that shared her lived experience, with the idea to learn what good parental support of trans children looks like. She interviewed parents and asked them to draw a picture of their experiences parenting a trans child. In speaking with the parents, Julia learnt that good support often extended to other family and community members. Meanwhile, Ia the research assistant brought their perspective as a trans Māori person into the project. It became evident throughout the interviews with parents that cultural frameworks impact familial support, which prompted Julia and Ia to apply for funding to ask trans young people themselves how they define family support, and identify who their main supporters are from their cultural backgrounds (Māori, Pākehā, Asian and Pacific). 


The name of the project, 'Project Village', reflects the idea that it takes a village to raise a transgender child:  everyone in their family has an role to play in supporting them to grow and thrive.   


The logo is based on a drawing by a parent of a transgender child who Julia interviewed as part of the pilot research.  The drawing depicts the layers of protection surrounding a child within te ao Māori (the Māori world view).  The parent likened these layers to the leaves of the harakeke plant, the outer layers (the parents and grandparents) protecting the inner layers (the children), nurturing them and allowing them to grow.  In this parent’s drawing, the children of the family are protected by their parents, their iwi (tribe), and the wider rainbow community around them. This is a powerful image of the village surrounding a transgender child.  We thank this parent for allowing us to use and adapt this drawing for our logo. 

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