I see Pasifika people as one big family dispersed in various small islands in the vast Pacific Ocean. We value family, friendship and community.
“I see Pasifika people as one big family dispersed in various small islands in the vast Pacific Ocean. We value family, friendship and community. Helping each other is at the core of our values. I see Pasifika people as my extended family members.”
Hako hako i aria, I was born in Hela Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Hela is one of the largest linguistic groups out of more than 800 found in PNG. It is where I spent most of my childhood and is where my parents are from. I am the second of three children.
Both my parents did not have a formal education. It was my mother who encouraged and supported my education as she said it would lead to a better life.
While attending high school in Hela Province I received a national scholarship to attend Passam National High School in East Sepik Province, PNG. I went on to receive an Academic Excellence Scholarship to attend the University of Papua New Guinea. During my studies there I was awarded an NZAID scholarship to study at Victoria University of Wellington.
I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and International Business, which I plan to complete at the end of 2015. I am the co-president of the Melanesian Students’ Association. I am also the treasurer for the university's PNG Students’ Association.
My first year at university was difficult because I had to adjust to a different lifestyle and culture in New Zealand. What helped me through the change were the friendly people there. A highlight and a rewarding experience during my studies was being a mentor for Māori and Pasifika students through Te Pūtahi Atawhai.
I gained an internship at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in the Port Moresby office, Papua New Guinea over summer 2015. I plan to put the theory and skills I've gained during my studies into practise during the internship and look forward to some hands-on experience.
My advice for potential students is to never let any opportunity pass you by as it may only come once in your life. Also, make the most of your time at university so you do not have regrets later in life. My future plans is to establish a career in the business sector.