Recognising and celebrating educational achievement for Pasifika communities is important. Some scholarship recipients may have defied all odds to get to this point in their academic and professional career, and it’s also important to visibly role model that success is possible, especially for future generations.
After a full day workshop focused on supporting recipients achieve their qualifications this year, about 135 friends and family supported 59 recipients at the 2018 Futures that Work scholarships ceremony and dinner at Jet Park conference centre in Mangere.
Dr. Monique Faleafa shared the results of the Futures that Work programme over the past 10 years, highlighting how we can now see tangible results as a result of this programme, with real growth in the size and skills of the Pacific workforce.
The honourable ‘Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples, emphasised the changes needed in mental health for Pasifika, the need to invest in mental health services, and to further grow the Pacific mental health workforce - so we can take responsibility for our own futures and address unmet need. He referred to the concept of Le Va and how Le Va as an organisation is successfully leading change based on traditional Pasifika values with contemporary execution. You can view part of his speech on our Facebook page.
Both ’Aupito and Dr Faleafa had words of motivation for recipients to get involved with the current mental health inquiry. Le Va board member Josiah Tualamali’i and Dr Jemaima Tiatia from the mental health inquiry panel gave inspirational messages on the importance of having a Pasifika voice in the inquiry.
Recipients Qoriniasi Tuifagalele, studying towards his Master’s in Leadership at the University of Auckland business school, and Veronica Tone, Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, shared their inspirational and heartfelt testimonies of gratitude and purpose. They were both clear that their qualifications will help them make a difference and support their tautua for Pasifika communities.
Le Va and the Pasifika mental health and addiction sector are very proud of all recipient’s achievements.