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Pasifika groups with ties to Ara acknowledged by Governor General

03 August, 2018

Pasifika staff and graduates from Ara were formally acknowledged by the Governor General of New Zealand the Rt. Hon Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM, QSO, at The Rydges Hotel in Christchurch yesterday for their services to the Pasifika community.

Organised by the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) Trust, the invitation was extended to “a handful of these people who we believe have worked tirelessly for Pasifika young people, and in helping PYLAT achieve our goals.”

All four community groups that were acknowledged have strong ties to Ara.

Simo Faitaua and Sua Tauti, both Pasifika representatives for the Ara Engagement Team, along with two others, accepted acknowledgement for the SPACPAC ‘sPacifically Pacific’ collective.

Pasifika groups with ties to Ara acknowledged by Governor General.jpgDame Patsy congratulating SPACPAC at the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation event.

“SPACPAC has been a group working hard for Pasifika young people in Christchurch for many years,” the acknowledgment noted. “The events that you have put on have been amazing, however even more amazing perhaps is the tireless effort that so many individual community people have put into SPACPAC. It is fair to say that SPACPAC events are some of the most ‘looked forward to’ by Pasifika young people in Christchurch and also some of the most valuable, giving young people a chance to celebrate culture, education, business, success, and so much more.”

Sam Uta’i, Ara academic staff member for The Next Step Centre for Women, was acknowledged as a member of PACIFICA Women .

Sela Faletolu was acknowledged for her outstanding work on the No Limits Pasifika youth theatre project, which was created when she worked at Ara.

The Y Not group, who were acknowledged for their work with young Pasifika artists, included former Ara staff member Mana Tatafu and graduate Albany Peseta, of the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) at Ara.

Diane Fenika, one of two individuals acknowledged at the event, is a member of the Pacific Advisory Group board at Ara.

Even the MC for the event, Mena Peteia, is an Ara nursing graduate.

Ara’s Pasifika Strategy aims to empower Pasifika individuals and communities. The vision for this strategy is: “In partnership with Pasifika communities, Ara provides education that enhances the employment of Pasifika peoples, creating a thriving community of Pasifika teaching and learning practice, which will support Pasifika students to contribute to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Watch: Albany Paseta’s speech at graduation as student representative.