INDEPENDENT NEWS

Whitireia And WelTec Celebrate 145 Pacific Graduates At An Event In Porirua

Published: Tue 23 Apr 2024 07:44 AM
At an evening event at the Whitireia Porirua campus, 145 graduands of Pacific descent were celebrated for completing their qualifications.
“When one Pacific student graduates, the whole family graduates with them - one change makes a big change in a community,” says Jean Mitaera, Chief Advisor Pacific Strategy at Whitireia and WelTec. “The onus is on us to look after our Pacific students and guide them through to this point of success and pride.”
Anoushka Alo, who has just completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Specialty Care with a focus on Pacific health leadership, shared her story during the evening and encouraged Pacific students to consider the health sector as a future pathway.
Anoushka, a Mum of three children and registered nurse, is on an educational pathway to becoming a nurse practitioner, which is a more qualified nurse able to prescribe and diagnose.
Anoushka’s focus is specifically on making positive changes for Pacific patients. She was enrolled at the same time in postgraduate studies at Victoria University Wellington and Whitireia Postgraduate Certificate in Speciality Care in Pacific leadership led by ANIVA.
“Before turning to nursing I was in business administration and worked overseas in Europe and Australia, but when my Mum, who is Samoan, became ill with cancer I came home to help her and be part of her journey. That is when I realised there was a big gap in Pacific healthcare in New Zealand and decided to train as a nurse, and now increase my impact as a nurse practitioner,” explains Anoushka.
“The Whitireia Certificate in Specialty Care, Pacific leadership, led by ANIVA, is the only one like it and it really responded to me wanting to tailor my health career toward Pacific peoples. I found it inspirational and supportive and it has also connected me to so many other like minded Pacific practitioners in the healthcare sector.
“My advice to students is - just enrol, enrol in a health qualification because there are so many career options in the health sector and there is such a need for qualified health professionals who understand Pacific cultures and languages. It will be so rewarding to be able to help your communities and make the change that is needed. That is what I hope to do.”
Commenting on the Pacific celebration, Mark Oldershaw, Executive Director at Whitireia and WelTec said: “We have had extremely strong numbers of Pacific students enrol, particularly in our nursing qualifications. We also continue to develop programmes aimed at our Pacific communities in Auckland and in the Pacific Islands, with a significant number of partnership arrangements established to enable this. The wrap-around support we provide to our students is key to growing and retaining our numbers of Pacific learners and we are delighted with the successful outcome at graduations and being able to celebrate this tonight.”
Find out more about the Postgraduate health options available at Whitireia and WelTec: https://www.whitireiaweltec.ac.nz/study-programmes/postgraduate/health-and-social/

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