Māori researcher, Dr Anthony Cole (Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) and I are polar opposites. Yet when I learnt about his background and whakapapa, I realised he and I have a lot in common. We've both taken a while to grow into ourselves! He tells of going from a young, unemployed Māori man, to someone with a PhD - all in just a few years. How he goes about applying his knowledge is both extraordinary and inspirational, and his work will make a huge difference to Aotearoa.