Lewis grew up on Tāmaki Makarau’s Northshore. She recently returned to Aotearoa after many years of living in Canada and today lives in the Tauranga Moana. She is of Ngāi Te Rangi descent. Initially diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss 22 years ago, today Lewis lives with severe to profound hearing loss. Initially qualifying as a social worker and community developer, she went on to work in the public health and tertiary sectors. Her Ph.D. was in empowerment theory and focused on issues of identity, culture, and power. Today she is a Senior Research Fellow with Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development and the Founding Director of the Alliance for Intergenerational Resilience. She loves hiking, meditation, yoga, drama, te reo Maori and spending time with friends and family.