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MIL OSI – Source: Heart Foundation – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Aspire to greatness!

Pacific Heartbeat (PHB) recently acknowledged graduating students of this year’s Certificate in Pacific Nutrition (CPN) and recognised those students completing the Train the Trainer (T3) programme.

Each year, our students never fail to blow us away with their passion and commitment and this year was no exception.

Held in December at Auckland’s Sorrento in the Park, the Pacific Heartbeat graduation saw 32 CPN graduates and seven T3 students gather with proud family, friends and colleagues to celebrate their success.

Alongside the Heart Foundation’s CEO, Tony Duncan, special guests and dignitaries were also welcomed, including Alfred Ngaro, Member of Parliament and Te Atatu List MP, Professor Elaine Rush from AUT and Barbara Lusk from the Ministry of Health.

CPN and T3 graduates were given the opportunity to share their experiences and insights from the course, including Eseta Nicholls, who has decided to lead by example so the mothers she works with are inspired to take on board her nutrition guidance. Her own goal in 2016 is mammoth, to run the New York Marathon. Go Eseta!

Florence Iosefa, who works with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, recalled the old ways of approaching nutrition.

“Food for Pacific used to be, just eat until you’re full and it doesn’t matter what you’re eating, as long as you’re being fed.

“But there is a huge knowledge gap around  the food we’re feeding our children as well as our pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Something has to change.” Florence now feels armed with the information she needs to support these mothers to make that change.

Dr Janet O’Connor shared that she will use her CPN learnings for her work with the Pasifika Migrants Services Charitable Trust, where she advises and supports new migrants from minority Pacific countries. She is in the process of developing a two-day community nutrition workshop for new Kiribati migrants.  

While attending the T3 Programme, Rowena Singh from Faleola Pacific Mental Health Services, developed a 12-week nutrition programme for their Tangata Ola, with the support of the PHB Mentoring and Support team, her own mentor Jemma O’Donnell and colleagues. Due to the success of this programme, the service will now incorporate a nutrition and cooking component into their future courses.

Jessica Meads from Toi Tangata talked of her awesome experience mentoring T3 student, Ani Taua from Huakina Development Trust, emphasising the importance of learning how to share information effectively.

It was a day full of love, laughter and tears. Everyone present shared an overwhelming sense of excitement for the graduates, as they head out to make a difference in their Pacific and Maori communities. For the graduates, their new knowledge comes with a sense of responsibility and a need to share their learnings with others. 

We wish all of this year’s graduates the best of luck. We are proud of your achievements  and look forward to hearing about the impact you have in your communities.

Read other stories in the Pacific Heart to Heart newsletter