Kollin Hilihetule - Everything I do is for my family

Celebrating Niuean Language Week, we turn the spotlight on our staff member Kollin Hilihetule. A proud Niuean, his father's village is Tuapa, and his mother's village is Liku.

"I'm always proud of our little nation and how we represent ourselves. We may not be as big or as many, but we make up for it with charisma and energy. We never shy away from being Niuean.

"Everything I do is for my family; they are my passion and focus. Every day, I get out of bed to provide for us."

New to the job as the Community Co-ordinator & GP liaison for the bowel screening team. Kollin's had an exciting journey, previously working at the Ministry of Social Development for two years and living in South Korea for 10 years. He now lives in Onehunga with his wife and son.

He studied at the Auckland University of Technology and earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology, minoring in Conflict Resolution.

"The most rewarding part of studying was getting a better understanding of why we do things the way we do and being able to understand people better."

Choosing to shift careers, Kollin applied to be a part of the Bowel Screening team because of the opportunity to work directly with Pasifika and Maaori communities.

"I knew I could impact them daily with my decisions in this job.”

For Kollin, it's about making sure they're aware of the needs of the people and approaching them in a way they feel comfortable and looked after.

"One of the highlights is encouraging our elderly to get tested and trying to remove any fears they have around the test/results. My team is awesome!"

The free programme for 60-74-year olds provides home test kits that sometimes pick up bowel changes before symptoms are noticed and save lives.                                                                                                                        

"Get Tested! Get your family tested. If you're unsure where to start, reach out, and we can help."

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