Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Anne Christine Dunne

Anne Christine Dunne

Paralegal preparing to pass the bar & reigning Miss Hibiscus, Miss Fiji & Miss Pacific Islands 

Fijian 

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Tell us a bit about yourself and your Pacific Island heritage.

I’m full Fijian. My Dad is from Namosi, and my mum is from Nadroga. So usually when I introduce myself, I say I’m from Namosi, vasu i Nadroga. I come from a family of two – there’s just my brother (Amos) and I, who’s 12 years older, and he has three beautiful children.

After living in the United States for so long, what brought you back to Fiji?

After elementary and high school in California, I graduated then moved to Fiji to be with my Dad. The most defining experience for me was definitely moving to Fiji. I don’t think people realise how different life is to what people perceive it to be in America. People think you have “the life” when you’re brought up overseas, but in reality, I didn’t have that, and I was raised by a single mother.more


Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Ben Ioasa Tuimaseve

BEN IOASA TUIMASEVE

Freight Forwarding 

Niuean/Cook Island/Samoan 

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Tell us a bit about yourself - What you do / Where you're from / Your Pacific heritage.

Depending on the day i'll either say I work in Freight Forwarding or that I am a Rug Cutter…yeah can you put Rug Cutter/Singer if you need a title lol

Born and bred in South Auckland. My mum is Niuean/Cook Island and Dad is full Samoan. My parents split when I was young and I was brought up with mums side mostly but I have been lucky enough to still have a healthy relationship with my Dad and know the family from both sides pretty well which is awesome. 

What has been the biggest struggle growing up with a disability?

My disability is Hemiplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy and affects one side of my brain (mostly physical but also mental) so I pretty much use only one side of my entire body.…more


Humans of the Islands

SUNDAY FUN DAY / DIANNA FUEMANA

By Victor Rodger 

Dianna Fuemana used to be a single parent on the DPB, watching soap operas like The Young and the Restless, dreaming of a better life.

Did she ever envisage the soap opera like turns her own life would take after she burst onto the theatre scene in 1999 with her critically acclaimed one woman show, Mapaki, elbowing her way through the male dominated Pacific theatre field to put female Pacific characters front and centre?

Since then her plays have been performed in Los Angeles, Toronto, Pago Pago, Athens, Niue and Edinburgh as well as throughout New Zealand.

In 2O12 she spent three months in New York as an intern with Killer Films who produced such Oscar winning hits as Boys Don’t Cry and Still Alice.

And as the partner of Kiwi actor Jay Ryan (best known for Beauty at the Beast and Go Girls) she has found herself in the pages of the very magazines she herself used to flick through back in her DPB days.…more


Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - James Nokise

JAMES NOKISE 

COMEDIAN/THEATRE MAKER & WRITER

SAMOAN/WELSH 

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I'm a comedian, theatre maker, and writer. I grew up in Wellington which is probably why I like experimenting across genres and maybe why there's so much politics in my work.

My parents are immigrants. Dad came over on a banana boat (like a real one) in the 50's from Samoa, and Mum came over from Wales, with Dad, in the early 80's. 
You're in the middle of a show at the moment, have you got another show coming up?
I've got a couple. My show, Rukahu, is a one man play at the Basement Theatre (showing now 4th-8th July), I'm in a puppet show called Puppet Fiction the following week at Basement, and then I fly to the UK, for the Edinburgh fringe festival to do Puppets and my solo comedy hour: Britain, Let's Talk About the Golliwogs. 
Is the premise for your show based on any personal experiences?
Rukahu comes from the surreal conversations I've had at Pacific Island Arts openings with non-pacific islanders and what they interpret as Pasifika.
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Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Miss World Fiji 2017 Nanise Rainima

NANISE RAINIMA 
MISS FIJI 2017/ MISSIONARY 
FIJIAN 
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Bula Vinaka! 
My name is Nanise Rainima and I work as a full-time missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ which is a Non-Governmental organisation.
I work with University Students and am passionate about connecting students to Jesus Christ.
I come from one of the biggest provinces in Fiji which is Tailevu.  Both my parents are from this province so I'm what you'd call a Pure-bred Tailevuan.  I am the middle child of 5 children (3 boys, 2 girls) and my parents are serving as Pastors. 
You have been selected to represent Fiji at Miss World, what was the journey like to get to this point?
I started thinking about joining Miss World Fiji ever since 2015 but it was not until late 2016 that I was firmly chose to carry it out by preparing myself especially physically.…more

Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Lafoai Luaitalo

Lafoai Luaitalo 

Community Work Leader & LLB/BA student

Samoan/Chinese 

My name is Lafoai Lian Luaitalo of Samoan-Chinese heritage. I’m from Uafato, Fagaloa, in Samoa, the very last village on the road however accompanied by the beautiful Fagaloa Bay. I grew up in Samoa with my grandparents and older sister and moved to NZ to be with my Mum when I was 4. I recently travelled back to Samoa with a bunch of my friends and family and it was an eye-opening experience learning about my heritage and culture. 

I am a fourth year LLB/BA student at the University of Auckland. I am a Tuakana Mentor (for Maori and PI students) for Sociology at the University and also undertake volunteer youth ‘work’ in Randwick Park where I reside with my flatmates.…more


Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Sam Manuela

Sam Manuela 

Psychology Lecturer at The University of Auckland

Cook Islands 

My name is Sam Manuela. I am of both Cook Island (Rarotonga, Manihiki, Atiu) and European (Scottish, Danish) descent. I currently live in Papakura, Auckland and I am a lecturer in the School of Psychology at The University of Auckland.

You recently graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology, how/why did you decided to pursue Psychology? 

As kids, we are often asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always said something like ‘a fireman’ or ‘a doctor’ or whatever occupation seemed aspirational for someone of my age and naivety. The truth was, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was more concerned about having fun with my family and friends.

I figured out that if I gave an answer that was expected of me, I wouldn’t have to sit through their life advice and I could continue playing with my friends.…more


Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Sam Ratumaitavuki

Sam Ratumaitavuki

Co-founder of two Mobile Game Publishing Companies & Creator of Fortafy Facebook

Fijian

I was born in NZ, I'm half Fijian / half European. I grew up in Ranui (West Auckland) and also Logan (South Brisbane) in my teens.

I'm known by different people for different things but at the moment I run one of the most active Facebook pages in the world Fortafy which has nearly 13m likes. Along with being a co founder of a two mobile games publishing companies Fortafy Games which published the biggest indie game of 2015 Color switch which has over 150m downloads and also Perfect Tap Games in which we just released a mobile game called "Chicken Scream" which also went number 1 all around the world.…more

Humans of the Islands

Humans of The Islands - Sisa Grey

Sisavai'i Grey Uiagalelei 

Actress

Samoan

I am an actor who dabbles in fashion designing, singing, writing, and a few other things.  Recently I wanted to go into MMA and then my husband gives me 'the look' so I go back to acting like I am a MMA fighter...in my head.  

When/How did you get into acting?

My father is a musician so I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis and other genres of music that a typical kid in Samoa wouldn't really listen to.  We would go to the video store and rent nothing but musicals that some of these musicians were in.  Watching those actors create magic on the screen started a fire in my heart that never went away.  I guess you could say that my dad's love for music brought me to my love for acting.  

Although my love for acting started at a young age, I didn't have the courage to pursue it till after being a mom.…more


Humans of the Islands

Humans of The Islands - Jennifer Amosa

Jennifer Amosa

Curve Model

Samoan 


I'm Jennifer Amosa, I work as a receptionist and pull double time as a single parent. In between all that I represent a lot of plus size women as a curve model here in Melbourne. 

When/How did you realise you wanted to pursue modelling?

I was lucky to attend an audition for a fashion show where they were looking for plus size women to model in their runway show. That was four years ago and I've been lucky to keep going and be involved with photo shoots and fashion shows. Also expanding my knowledge in fashion and meeting other curve models has been a great journey.

What has it been like being the first Polynesian curve model in Melbourne?

I feel like I'm holding a trophy and saying a speech when asked this question haha but on a serious note, I love it!!!  Representing diversity is what I like, especially when I step out onto the runway or when I see the final pics from a photo-shoot.…more