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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

3 mins ago

The new leadership group (from left): Ausage Fomai, Anne Penitito, Charity Lagaaia, Rachael Tusa, Harmony Lone, Nikora Michael and Tumua Crichton.

EIT is excited to introduce its first Pasifika Student Leadership group.

The group consists of seven enthusiastic students with different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures, Ausage Fomai (Bachelor Sport & Exercise Science), Anne Penitito (Bachelor of Nursing), Charity Lagaaia (Bachelor of Business Studies), Rachael Tusa (Bachelor of Nursing), Harmony Lone (Bachelor of Nursing), Nikora Michael (Bachelor of Nursing), and Tumua Crichton (Diploma in Architectural Technology). The group’s aim is to strengthen the Pasifika student voice and to advocate for the needs of their fellow students.

For EIT’s new Pasifika Student Support Coordinator, Sharon Malaitai, the group is a game changer. “I studied Architectural Technology at EIT. During that time I noticed that many polytechnics and universities had their Pasifika student groups, and their input made a huge difference to Pasifika students. From the moment I started my job at EIT I knew that I wanted to establish a strong Pasifika student leadership committee to help create and support a Pasifika family here at EIT which will benefit both students and teachers.”

Sharon who works as a qualified architectural designer at Design Builders describes her role at EIT as a “job of service”. “My passion is to educate Pasifika families about the importance of education and student support services but also to find ways to break down educational barriers and raise cultural awareness. I want to help my people succeed throughout their educational journey, to plant the seed now for a better future later.”

Recently the new leadership group attended the ITP Student Voice Summit in Wellington. The students connected with other Pasifika leadership committees from other Polytechnics around the country and was able to meet the national Pasifika student association “Tauira Pasifika” leaders, learned how to build and run a leadership group and to contribute to strategic discussions with the executive department.

“We returned motivated and confident, ready to get involved,” says Sharon. “We have to make sure that the future Pasifika generation has a voice and the best possible educational outcomes.”