Growing Pasifika health champions
O le ala i le pule o le tautua – the pathway to leadership is through service
Dr Ashley Bloomfield was on the lineup at Le Va’s Le Tautua Leadership Programme last week, supporting Pasifika leaders to develop their unique leadership perspectives and enhance their management skills. Sharing his insights with the cohort of 16 participants, Director General of Health Dr Bloomfield said: “People will trust us if we lead with authenticity, kindness, humility and compassion”.
Building a robust Pacific health workforce can have a positive impact on Pacific health outcomes, according to Le Va chief executive Denise Kingi-U’lu’ave. But to do this, leadership is required. “Our intention is to grow champions for Pasifika workforce development, improve models of service delivery and enhance access rates to services for Pasifika communities,” she explained.
Programme participants also heard from Karen Orsborn, chief executive of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, who encouraged them to take every opportunity that will come their way and to be diverse in their networks.
The programme paid respect to Pasifika health leaders past, present and future. The speaker lineup also included Josiah Tualamali’I, Andre Afamasaga, Monique Faleafa, Rachel Karalus, Epenesa Olo-Whaanga, Shana Malio and Hon. Aupito William Sio.
The culturally-centred Le Tautua programme focused on the contemporary execution of traditional values and in clinical, cultural, and community contexts. Running over three workshops, it concentrated on six intended outcomes:
• strengthening authenticity as Pasifika leaders
• increasing cultural knowledge relevant to leadership and management
• improving strategies for self-awareness, self-care and resilience
• strengthening positive relationships required for leadership
• enhancing purpose and career pathways
• increasing awareness of leading with compassion, wisdom and empathy.
Le Tautua has continued for 13 years with over 100 Pasifika Alumni, and is run by Le Va. For more information about Le Va, visit www.leva.co.nz.
Note: Le Tautua literally means ‘the service’, deriving from a famous Samoan proverb: ‘O le ala i le pule, o le tautua’. The pathway to authority is through service. The concept of Tautua includes the notion that: in order to lead, one must first serve. This is the characteristic of not just Samoan but many Pacific leadership styles, where it is not necessarily about leading from the front but about the paradox of status through service.