The New Londoners

Krista Dixon (green head dress) with her mother Hegnes, father Keith, sister Eileen and brother Edwin.

Born on the island of Nikunau in Kiribati, Hegnes Dixon met her British husband Keith in Papua New Guinea, where he was teaching at the time. Then they went to Kiribati, where Krista was born.

Krista: I was born on Nikunau, the island. Then dad got a job at Massey University in Palmerston North in New Zealand, so we moved there when I was three weeks old and lived there. My brother, who now lives in Milton Keynes, was born in New Zealand and we stayed there until he was about eight, before moving to the UK for nine months, where dad had a sabbatical teaching at Keele University. Following that, we moved back to New Zealand.

The Dixon family remained in New Zealand for around a year, and then relocated to Tarawa, the main island in Kiribati, where Keith started teaching accounting. There they stayed for two years. After that, they moved to the UK as Keith got a job at the Open University. Currently, he works at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Edwin was born in Tarawa, Kiribati in 1999 and, after moving to the UK, Eileen was born in 2001 in Milton Keynes. They stayed in Milton Keynes for seven years and then moved to Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand. The family has been back in New Zealand for 10 years now, while Krista – who was in her second year of university when they moved back – has been going back and forth between the two places, and says she probably sees her family every two years.

Krista: After university, I did a stint of going back. I did my dissertation about food and nutrition of the islands of Kiribas, so I was in New Zealand for a short period of time. I suppose I was deciding where to go after graduating, but then I started my career in Milton Keynes and, following that, I came to London to continue my career.

She currently works in the charity sector, and primarily organises fundraising events at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Aside from that, Krista is involved with the Kiribati community in England.

Krista: In the KTA committee, there are around 100 members. But some of those could be expats, so maybe that’s about 80 families.

Considering Kiribati to be a major part of her identity, Krista returned to the islands eight years ago to teach English in secondary school for a few months. “It felt like going back home as everything and everyone is still there,” she recalls.

Having been in London for five years now, Krista doesn’t know yet what she’ll do next. “I suppose I’ll just see what happens,” she says. “I would love to work in Kiribas, but it’s just finding the right role, I guess,” she says.


Also from New Zealand are the Egal-Mullon Family, the Chan Family, the Sullivan & Seresin Family and the Thomas & Bonnington Family