Our Team

Our team took on the task of bringing TEDx to the University of Auckland to initiate dialogue on issues that affect our community. We believe that revolutionary ideas have the power to shape our minds by challenging existing notions. But often these ideas go unheard, because they lack a platform that gives them a voice; we want TEDxUoA to be that platform.


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Sophia Chen

BEng / BSc

I’m passionate about giving back to the community and paying it forward whenever I can since I wouldn't be the person I am today without the help of many along my journey. I tried to support the mental health of my peers through UniTao and physical health of the community through becoming a biomedical engineer. I’m also passionate about spreading knowledge and opportunities, hence my involvement in TEDxUoA and Robogals. Thus, hopefully through these and many similar organisations, we can thrive as a community! In my spare time I like to go for runs, go to Cosmo for the best matcha latte or read up on spiritual advancements.

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Vy Ha


Hi, I'm Vy, currently in my third year studying Bachelor of Science majoring in Physiology. When i'm not at uni, i love cooking and baking (though I don't do them much >.<) and spending time for myself. TED talks really help me to gain valuable insights into different fields. As a part of TEDxUoA this year, i promise to bring more inspirational and educative talks and unlock new experience for everyone.

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Riya Kumar


I am currently in my second year pursuing Mechatronics Engineering as an international student. I have grown up watching TED-talks with my dad and being a part of this team and working behind the scenes gives me an opportunity to fulfil the purpose of TED-talks - "Ideas worth spreading" which makes me feel so elated.


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April Chen

BSc (Grad)

Hi~ I'm April and I joined TEDxUoA because in my free time, I like to watch Youtube videos such as TED talks - I get to learn something new, get inspired by other people's stories and experiences, and gain new perspectives on many different topics. I would like to help spread ideas throughout the UoA and Auckland communities :)

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Isla Allen


I'm a firm believer in the importance of accessible, engaging education, so I'm really excited to be part of bringing TedxUoA to life this year! In my spare time I'm an avid op shopper (it's a bit of an addiction at this point), and I love going out for a good coffee with friends.

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Fiona Sandiko


My drive and purpose for life in general is the mindset of always evolving and having an open-mind to learning new knowledge and being receptive to new experiences. "Better an oops than a what if" I like to read books about philosophy and psychology, learning about different perspectives and stoicism. I also love boxing and dancing.

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Fiza Surihyo

BA / BGlobalSt

As an avid reader since childhood, I have always found joy in learning from other people’s stories and life experiences which is what led me to liking TED talks and joining the TEDxUoA team way back in 2021. In my spare time, I enjoy learning languages (currently working on my French), exploring Auckland with friends, photography (very amateur level though) and reading. I am super excited to work alongside a fantastic group of individuals to bring together this year’s event! Stay tuned!

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Phalidpol Zhu

BSc / BCom

Hi, I'm Phalidpol Zhu, I'm currently in my second year at UoA studying Computer Science and Business Management. I joined TedxUoA so I can showcase my skills in web development. I enjoy learning more about the world, especially in science and technology. In my spare time, I love to play video games. I also like to hike and explore nature.

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Yuyun Ni


Hi everyone, I am thrilled to be a part of the TEDxUoA team as a student majoring in digital health. My passion for this field comes from the belief that technology can help bridge the gap in healthcare accessibility and make a difference in people's lives. My drive to pursue digital health is fueled by the desire to make healthcare more efficient, cost-effective, and accessible to all. In my spare time, I enjoy expressing my creativity through drawing and painting. I also love hanging out with my friends and exploring new places, trying new foods, and engaging in interesting conversations. As a TEDxUoA team member, I look forward to contributing to the platform's mission of spreading innovative ideas and promoting positive change. I'm excited to be a part of this community of like-minded individuals and to learn from the diverse perspectives and experiences of others.

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Aimee Lew


I'm driven to create positive change through story-telling, problem-solving and innovation. I am especially interested in the intersection of science, culture and policy spaces, which explains my motley assortment of majors. In my spare time, I like reading, writing, drawing, working through my mountainous to-watch list of films and TV shows, and making new memories with my friends.


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Madeline Gray


Kia ora! My name is Maddie, and I'm a Third Year Primary Education student. My interest in TEDxUoA stems from my love of learning and a huge interest in how we can shape the future through education. I'm super excited for this year- and I hope we can inspire and provoke positive change!! When I'm not at uni, you'll probably find me chatting away with friends, watching a movie (usually a horror) or at the arcade.

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Ishita Solanki

BCom / BA

I am passionate about being a part of TEDxUoA where I can help raise awareness about important issues facing society. By helping offer students the opportunity to hear from inspiring and experienced speakers I aim to create a positive and encouraging society where individuals can learn from others and contribute meaningfully. In my spare time I enjoy different cuisines, exercising and travelling. I hope to make this year at TEDxUoA a memorable one for our club and wider university community by enabling everyone to engage with inspiring stories.

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Elliot Cina


I'm here to try make the world a tiny bit better then the way I found it. I hope to work as a physician across the globe helping our global community come together during tough times to fight infectious foes. I love science, art, technology, people, and all the other things that TED values and showcases. In my spare time I like to play racquet sports, spend time with my friends and my family, eat and discover new cuisine!

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Rochelle Tay

Health Science & Pharmacology

Kia Ora, my name is Rochelle and I am excited to introduce myself to y’all! As an avid listener of TEDx talks growing up, I have always felt empowered and inspired by the diversity of ideas and perspectives shared on this platform. Guided by my motto "you cannot change the world overnight, but you can leave it in a better place than you found it," I am passionate about taking action to create a brighter future for all. I firmly believe that our actions today can shape the world of tomorrow and I am committed to sharing stories and amplifying the voices of others to create a positive impact. When I'm not working towards this goal, you can find me playing squash, journaling, hitting the gym or feeding my plushie addiction!

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Dagmara Rudolph

BA / BSc

I'm passionate about making life as good as possible for everyone, including future generations. I see environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change as two of the most pressing issues that will affect us all, particularly those who are already struggling. Uni is where I'm learning how we can protect our planet, and how we can make policies and systems that will be fair and kind to everyone. In my spare time I like to try new food places with friends (my bank account doesn't like it though), read (or listen to audiobooks), trawl through op shops, and play board games.

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Hansi Jayatilake


Kia Ora, my name is Hansi, I am Sri Lankan, raised in beautiful Seychelles and moved to New Zealand a few years ago. My motto for life is Hakuna Matata which translates to no worries or take it easy in swahili. It is a guiding principle on how I tackle anything life throws my way and has enabled me to be honest not only to myself but also to others. Hence, you will often find me taking it easy by painting my worries away, watching some real fast cars, catching up with friends and enjoying exploring new places.


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Siying Huang


I aspire to spread joy and make a meaningful impact on those with whom I am fortunate enough to cross paths, whether it's through solving challenges or simply sharing a good laugh. During my free time, I enjoy playing music and going for refreshing runs in nature!

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Alice Chen


Hi I'm Alice! I’ve joined TEDxUOA this year because I wanted to be a part of an initiative that is meaningful and impacts so many people across the world. I’ve always enjoyed listening to Ted talks since a young age, and I’m excited to contribute to this amazing cause. Something that inspires me is to find joy in many different aspects in life, and also by the idea of challenge and personal growth. Outside of university, I enjoy spending time with friends, going on walks, or spending time with my kitten :)

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Tapaswi Pagadala


Kia ora, my name is Tapaswi and I am studying a Bachelor of Science. I love exploring new ideas and getting different perspectives on them through conversations, books and podcasts. I am excited to have joined TEDxUoA to work with a great team to share the stories and inspiring ideas of passionate speakers with all. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, baking and watching TED talks of course!


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Thao Tran

I was drawn to TEDxUoA because i believe in the power of public speaking to inspire a rippling transformation starting with those in the audience that day, who share it with their social circle who spread it to theirs. The TEDx stage is truly the world stage.

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Rishit Patel

I’d say that my career purpose is to use my scientific/analytical skills to benefit my community. You can take many angles on that, but mine is specifically in the biomedical space - I hope to take new scientific discoveries to the clinic so patients can have better health outcomes. In my spare time, I read a lot. Particularly, thrillers, diasporic literature, sometimes non-fiction like auto/biographies. When I’m not reading I like doing urban photography. :)

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Max Deng Vu

Hey! I'm Max, a second-year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. I strive to improve myself daily and understand the world. TEDxUoA provides a platform for me and others to exchange stories - our achievements and struggles - while working towards our goals. In my free time, I enjoy reading history, listening to sports podcasts, and exploring Auckland's food scene!