Ruth DeSouza

Ruth DeSouzaKia ora! Thanks for visiting my website.

I’m a nurse, writer and academic with a passionate interest in feminist and anti-racist theory. I’ve combined my academic career with governance and community involvement. I talk and write in popular and scholarly venues about mental health, maternal mental health, race, ethnicity, biculturalism, multiculturalism, settlement, refugee resettlement, and cultural safety.

I am a Senior Lecturer at Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science. with a joint appointment at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) as Stream Leader, Research, Policy and Evaluation. Joint appointments in New Zealand and Australia involve having senior academics with positions at a university and a service institution, with such roles providing a way to bridge practice, education and research.

I serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transcultural NursingThe Women’s Studies Journal (The Women’s Studies Association, NZ) and The Australian College of Nursing (ACN)’s Hive publication.

I have a blog on this site where I research and rehearse ideas in different formats and for different audiences than my scholarly work. Its purpose is to contest how racialised ethnic identities are represented in the public sphere and to offer an alternative to dominant discourses. This aim is common to the Aotearoa Ethnic Network (AEN), a decade old email list I maintain that connects New Zealanders interested in the “ethnic” question.

My work explores alternative political-economic frames such as postcolonial feminist theory and cultural safety, that highlight the political economy of colonisation, and racialisation. As a migrant who has grown up and been professionally socialised in a settler context, I see indigenous rights as a fundamental basis for a broader social justice agenda to eliminate health inequities.

You can contact me at ruth at