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 A family affair - Mother and daughter graduate together!

Renee (left) and Foloi (right)

Graduation is a memorable occasion, and for the Asiata-Faletui family, it truly was a proud family moment with both mother and daughter graduating from the same University on the same day, 1 June 2021.​

Foloi Asiata-Faletui and her daughter Renee Faletui, both studied at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, and also work together here at Counties Manukau Health. 

Renee graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences and currently works as a Workforce Coordinator for Counties Health. 

"I was inspired to go into health at a very young age. My mother is a Registered Nurse at Middlemore Hospital and I also spent parts of my childhood at Starship Hospital with my younger sister undergoing treatment for Leukaemia. That shaped my future and ignited my passion. At first, I was adamant about going into the clinical route however growing up and learning of the health inequities of Pacific peoples motivated me to work in the public health space and have some input in changing this narrative." says Renee when asked what inspired her career in health.

Her mother, Foloi, a graduate migrant nurse from Samoa, also graduated on the same day with a Master of Nursing with First Class Honours.

"I have worked for more than 23 years as a registered nurse for CM Health, in a range of senior clinical nursing roles. I am currently the Fanau Ola Clinical Nurse Case Manager, catering to meet the needs of Pacific people with highly complex health needs who typically struggle to navigate the health system.  

"To be successful, hard work is a must but without education, it will not yield any results. Sometimes we need to lead the way for our young to follow. This motivated me to take an extra step to do postgraduate studies. My thesis looked at 'How nurses partner with Pacific people living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) to enhance self-management of their health and wellbeing'. The findings of this review help bridge the gap between low health literacy, culture, and language barriers for Pacific patients. Achieving the health and wellbeing of Pacific people together calls for building trust partnership, and nurturing the va-teu le va in mitigating the burden of T2DM that affects the Pacific population in Counties Manukau region. 

"Our roles are important in shaping healthcare for the Pacific and also for the next generation to help grow the change. I am proud to have two generations of health care professionals in my family and to be able to graduate with my daughter was a memorable moment. "says Foloi. 

Congratulations to Foloi and Renee on your wonderful achievement.

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