Talofa lava, o lo’u igoa o Hidoria Onesemo-Tuilaepa. I am Samoan born and bred with roots in Lepa, Vavau, Falealili, and Vailoa Palauli.
As a daughter of the Pacific, the values of collectivism and service underpin and motivate my desire to be of service to our people and communities. Ole naunauta’iga ia fai se sao ma se aoga mo le si’itia o le tulaga o tagata Pasifika i Aotearoa aua se lumana’i manuia o tatou fanau ma aiga.
My background is in policy and social sciences, specifically in community development, social development, and education in both New Zealand and Samoa.
My role as a Project Coordinator in the Atu-Mai Violence Prevention Team has given me the privilege to work in an area which I am passionate about, as well as directly engaging with Pasifika people. As the Samoan proverb goes, ‘E fofo e le alamea, le alamea’, I believe Pasifika people hold our stories, challenges, triumphs and solutions – it is just a matter of giving them the platform and agency to voice, drive and lead these changes.
I am the eldest of nine, but like many Pasifika families, have been raised amongst a village of aunties, uncles, cousins, and parents who collectively continue to pray, sacrifice, and support me. I am the product of my grandma’s prayers, my parents’ labour of love, my aunt and uncles’ sacrifices and my siblings’ support; and I hope to reciprocate their efforts.