Wednesday 10 August
University of Auckland Pacific students scoop major awards again
Current and former students from The University of Auckland have scooped all the major awards for the second year
running after tonight’s announcement of the 2011 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards.
Nadeen Papali’i, Mark Dewes, Brandon Jackson, Jessica Papali’i-Curtin and Joyce Toleafoa, all current students or alumni
of the University, are recipients of the coveted awards recognising outstanding achievers from the New Zealand Pacific
community. Each will be presented their award by Prime Minister John Key at Parliament Buildings, Wellington this
They follow in the footsteps of fellow students and alumni Samuelu Si’ilata, Tammy Kingi-Fakaloa and J’aime Laurenson
who won last year’s inaugural awards.
Nadeen Papali’i, a masters student in environmental engineering has been awarded The University of Auckland-sponsored
Leadership Award. The 22-year-old from Otara says: “I’m really excited about this award. A lot of times, we let our
circumstances hold us back, but I hope with this award I can inspire more Pacific youth to really get out there and live
their dreams. I’m focused on working in the water industry, firstly in Samoa, then anywhere there is a need. So I’ve set
it in my heart to do my doctorate to get trained and get equipped.”
The Leadership scholarship pays fees towards a programme of study at The University of Auckland.
Mark Dewes, who graduated last year with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam, won the Weta Workshop-sponsored Creativity
Award, which provides a one-year paid internship at the Weta Workshop in Wellington. Mark says: “I’ve always wanted to
work in the creative industry and even though I missed out on the award in 2010, I was not deterred by the setback. I
knew I would have another opportunity this year so it just focused me even more.”
This year, three recipients have been jointly awarded the Cogita-sponsored Inspiration Award. Brandon Jackson and Joyce
Toleafoa both studying in the Faculty of Education, the former undertaking a Bachelor in Human Services degree and the
latter a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching). Jessica Papali'i-Curtin is studying for a Bachelors in Medicine and
Surgery. Each will each receive $5000 towards overseas travel.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon says: “Last year we were very pleased that all three winners of the
inaugural awards hailed from The University of Auckland and we have been proud of their achievements. This year, we are
absolutely delighted that five more of our students and alumni are recipients of this prestigious award.The University
of Auckland is committed to ensuring access and opportunities for Pacific communities. Many of our students are already
making valuable contributions to their respective families and communities and it is heartening to see them publicly
recognised in this way.”
With 3,000 Pacific student enrolments and world-class academics teaching and researching across many Pacific-related
disciplines, Auckland is New Zealand’s leading Pacific university.