Le Va Pacific Emerging Leadership Award winners shine at Sunpix Awards
I believe all issues in the world are connected – things like mental health, climate change, as well as child poverty. No young person should have to live in an environment where they can’t thrive. – Nele Kalolo
As the proud sponsor of the Pacific Emerging Leadership category for the Sunpix Pacific People’s Awards, Le Va celebrated alongside winners Āniva Clarke and Nele Kalolo on the night of 13 November.
Honouring the resilience, creativity, and leadership of young Pacific people, the category recognises Pasifika youth leadership and the valuable foundation that creates for the future.
Both Nele and Āniva are impressive young women, dedicated to serving their communities, sharing their culture and advocating for positive change.
Nele hails from the villages of Faga and Vaimoso in Samoa and is a Young Ambassador for Unicef Aotearoa, Deputy Chair for the Consumer Advisory Committee at Pharmac, and a Tuakana for MAPAS and the Tuākana Arts Programme at the University of Auckland.
Nele joined Le Va’s Youth Advisory Group in 2023 and has supported community engagement at events like Polyfest and our Niu Wave graduations. Her ability to articulate issues facing Pasifika youth with clarity and passion has been an inspiration for those around her.
“I believe all issues in the world are connected – things like mental health, climate change, as well as child poverty. No young person should have to live in an environment where they can’t thrive,” said Nele.
Āniva grew up in Samoa and has served as a youth ambassador on climate and environment to the UN Committee. Her local community advocacy led her to become the first youth ambassador for Pacific Women in Climate Change Network and this year she became the first Samoan Head Prefect at Diocesan School for Girls.
Āniva has been part of Le Va’s Niu Wave programme for two years, and over that time she has consistently demonstrated powerful leadership qualities.
She said, “It is beyond an honour to have received the Pacific Emerging Leadership Award. Le Va encouraged my leadership as a Pasifika youth and helped to equip me with the tools to navigate spaces where we are a minority.
“I am beginning my first year at university next year studying towards a Bachelor of Laws conjoint with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Geography and Pacific Studies. I hope this pathway leads me to be a part of organisations that work in the spaces of Human Rights as well as the environment, and approach these roles through a Pasifika perspective.”
We are fortunate to have both young women as a part of our Le Va community, and we are confident that the future of Pasifika youth is looking bright with Āniva and Nele leading the way.