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Pasifika Island Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT)

“O le ala i le pule, O le tautua” – “The path to leadership, is through service”

On Monday 3rd of April, Dostella Amerika, Faith Nonutunu, June Matau, Lua Suena and along with Mr Fa’avesi Talamaivao had the opportunity to attend the Pacific Island leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) amongst other Pasifika islanders from across South and East Auckland.

The Purpose of the PILOT programme is to inspire, engage and develop Pacific leaders and help them to make informed decisions about their education and career. Today was a great opportunity for the following Rutherford College Yr13 students to reconnect and build on their confidence, understand what their strengths are and ways to navigate “the ocean” for them to build on their identity and resilience.

My highlight of the day was listening to guest speaker Mariner Fagaiava. Mariner Fagaiava who is a Tongan/Samoan  journalist and digital content producer is a young vocal Pacific islander who is passionate about people, and culture. One thing we took away from his journey in his high school years was to never give up that there is great things ahead of you waiting for you “don’t let anyone tell your story but youself. I felt that the Talanoa was very engaging, I felt that many of us could relate to his background/upbringing and words of wisdom/courage.

After Mariner Fagaiava’s speech we split into two groups, where we were mixed in with other schools. We went to different workshops, Resilience and Elements. My favourite workshop was the elements. We were all given different elements Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, we had to choose what element we fit in, the element I felt most connected to was Fire.This was because my leadership qualities matched most of the qualities of Fire element. We all got different scenarios and each group element had to choose which scenario their element most suits. It tells you who you are as a person. This workshop helped me to remind myself, by keeping the four elements in our awareness on a daily basis. It empowered us to recognise our individual leadership qualities as islanders and helped us to shape our nets of influence.

This amazing experience left these participants with stories to share and memories in mind. Now, they continue on their Vakas towards their futures as Pacific Islanders of Aotearoa.

Fa’afetai tele lava mo le avanoa


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