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Pioneering Pasifika psychologists uphold NRL player wellbeing

“Our Pasifika don’t care what you know until they first know you care.”

Le Va’s general manager, Dr Elizabeth Mati, recently had the opportunity to present at the inaugural National Rugby League (NRL) Psychologist Conference in the Hawkesbury Valley in New South Wales, Australia.

NRL Psychologist Conference

(L to R) David Solomona, Paul Heptonstall, Dr Elizabeth Mati, Professor Jioji Ravulo, Shane Senituli

Dr Mati, who is also a registered Clinical Psychologist, joined her esteemed colleagues Professor Jioji Ravulo (University of Sydney), David Solomona (NRL Wellbeing and Players Pasifika Manager) and Shane Senituli (Registered Psychologist) to hold a talanoa (discussion) on Pasifika culture.

The talanoa explored the nuances of Pasifika worldviews and cultural practices and the importance of nurturing the va (relational space) when engaging with Pasifika people.

Talanoa on Pasifika culture

Talanoa on Pasifika culture

The NRL works with mental health organisations such as Le Va for specialist referrals and guidance in developing education and support programmes for players.

The NRL Wellbeing & Education team, led by Senior Wellbeing & Education Manager Paul Heptonstall, is pioneering in this space – promoting the holistic wellbeing of their athletes on and off the field.

Le Va is proud of our ongoing partnership with the NRL, providing expert advice on Pasifika mental health and championing Pasifika wellbeing initiatives for more than a decade.


NRL Psychologist Conference

NRL Psychologist Conference

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Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.