Sulani Helg

Sulani utilised her strengths, stories and culture to empower others to take action both on campus and in the wider community.

BA Development Studies and Pacific Studies
Wellington Plus Award

Portrait of Sulani Helg

Sulani dedicated her time to enabling her Pasifika brothers and sisters to succeed at University and the Wellington Plus Award recognises her outstanding contribution to service. As a Tuākana Student Leader, she was a Mentor for Pasifika students and also trained other students to be mentors. Together with her fellow Tuākana, she shared her story with prospective Pasifika students and their families, and performed cultural songs and dances for elderly in rest homes.

Sulani ensured that students could learn and thrive through Samoan cultures and values. Over three years, she was the Academic Officer and then Vice-Secretary of Victoria University Samoan Students’ Association, organising large events to celebrate Samoan culture and share it with the University and wider community. In addition, she helped create a voice for her peers as the Co-Editor of the inaugural Pasifika edition of Salient, Wan Solwara. She undertook a further leadership position as a FHSS Faculty Delegate, further representing her peers on a Faculty Board.

Sulani was an active leader of the Wellington Branch of Pacific Climate Warriors for two years. She was also instrumental in the Pasifika role of Strike4Climate, demonstrating that Pacific peoples are mobilising for action on climate change.

For Sulani, Wellington Plus was an opportunity to reflect on the numerous skills, the real experiences and the long life friendships that she has made. She says it was an honour for her to engage with various communities in Wellington who have helped to make this capital city her home away from home.

“To me, servant leadership is reflected in the natural feeling of one who wants to serve, and to serve first and foremost. This means working from the front and back – not for recognition but solely to give back wholeheartedly. My leadership style is a reflection of this.”
Sulani Helg