Academy awards with a pacific beat!
“We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands but in the greatness of our oceans” – a famous quote by Professor 'Epeli Hau'ofa, read by a student at the closing of the Pacific Health Sciences Academy (PHSA) graduation, perfectly described the purpose of the night.
While the number of Pacific health professionals is small, but steadily growing, their importance to Pacific communities and patients is far-reaching - like the ocean.
On this special graduation night, PHSA students, their families, and teachers from across Auckland attended the evening to celebrate the next generation of Pacific health professionals.
The PHSA, which is part of FOU (the Future is Open to Us), helps support, guide and encourage Pacific school students into health roles where they are really needed. They work closely with the students and their families in a combined approach to success.
The PHSA Class of 2023 was celebrated for their perseverance and endurance during the isolation and lockdowns of COVID-19, teacher strikes, and the Cyclone Gabrielle.
Tuliana Guthrie, Pacific Workforce Manager, talked proudly about the numbers of graduating students with 84% of last year’s Year 13 PHSA students graduating from college and entering tertiary study.
“The quality of the achievement is shown by the Excellence and Merit Endorsements. These too are consistently higher for the PHSA when compared to the total NZ, total Pacific, and national decile 1-3 schools.”.
The night was a beautiful celebration of youth, family, teachers, health leaders, cultures and pride all among a sea of colour of fabulous dresses and outfits.
Thank you to the organisers of the night from our FOU Team; Tuliana Guthrie, Renee Faletui, Kirita Silaga, Mele Finau, Aaron Lui, and Mele Kiteau.