2024 International Traumatic Brain Injury Conference

Speakers Bio

Dr. Debbie Hagar

Dr. Debbie Hager

Dr. Debbie Hager is a Senior Tutor in Social and Community Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and teaches health promotion at The University of Auckland.

Her focus is on the social and economic determinants of health, as well as power and powerlessness. She is also interested in understanding how politics and policy constrain or enable choices and opportunities for various populations, and understanding what equity means and ways to achieve it.

Debbie completed her PhD. in Public Health and her Masters in Public Health at The University of Auckland. Her doctoral thesis is titled “Not inherently vulnerable: An examination of paradigms, attitudes and systems that enable the abuse of dis/abled women.” It examines why the New Zealand disability and anti-violence sectors do not work together to address violence against disabled women.

Debbie’s research interests revolve around:

  • gender and gender equity
  • the mental health effects of domestic violence
  • inclusion and exclusion
  • understandings and conceptualisation of vulnerability
  • disability and violence
  • the lack of relationship between the violence and disability sectors in New Zealand.

Her specialist areas of research are the various intersections between domestic and sexual violence and disability, including mental illness, and the social construction of various groups of people as vulnerable and the inherent lack of power and resources associated with this construction. Debbie’s work is based on her own research and significant collaboration with disabled people and their organisations. The work is motivated by a strong belief in social justice – a belief in full inclusion, and a concept of equity that requires significant redistribution of resources to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for freedom from violence and abuse, the best possible health, and fulfilment of potential and wellbeing.