CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER
Junior Aumavae is a former American football nose tackle. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Today he is serving as the Chief Equity Officer for the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.
What are your home villages in both Alaska and Samoa?
I was born in American Samoa from the village of ili ili. I currently live in Anchorage, Alaska.
You started your career in football during your earlier years.…more
Tell us about yourself - where you live and what inspires you in life? What do you love about being a Pacific woman in this space?
I live in Kailua, Hawai'i on the island of O'ahu. My dad comes from the village of Ha'akame, Tonga on Tongatapu. He came to Hawai'i when he was 14. I grew up in Hawai'i surrounded by Hawaiian and local culture, but I was really lucky to also be close to my Tongan family. My biggest inspiration in my art comes from Hawai'i. Of course I am inspired by the stories of all our Pasifika people, by our origins, by our ancestors, and by our nature, but Hawai'i is what I am most familiar with. I am inspired by the shapes and patterns in our Tapa/Kapa and our Tatatau/Kakau. And I am also inspired by animation and pop culture. I love watching current illustration trends and seeing how they might relate to my perspective.…more
KOULA TUITUPOU KUTU
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA & MARKETING FOR THE MINISTRY FOR PACIFIC PEOPLES
On Monday the 8th of November, the New Zealand Public Service Medals were awarded to ten people in a special presentation at the Governor General of New Zealands house. The New Zealand Public Service Medal is awarded to public servants who have given meritorious service. The medal recipients are people who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to New Zealand and New Zealanders, are exemplary, or a model for other public service employees, bring significant benefit to New Zealand or the public service and are exceptional and otherwise worthy of recognition.…more
Eric Soakai is a Samoan Tongan activist, artist and academic based out of South Auckland. In his artform Eric explores indigenous storytelling through his lense as a Polynesian man.
The young and talented creative was featured in The Panthers Documentary where he shared a powerful spoken word piece.
We got to catch up with Eric and chat about his art, purpose and passion for telling indigenous stories through poetry.
You did a powerful spoken word piece as part of the Panthers Rapp doco series - what was the essence of this piece and what drove you to write it?
For me the essence of the piece is ‘ka mua, ka muri’. It is an expression of walking backwards into the future, of recognising we bring all that was of our gafa/whakapapa into a space of potentiality/ what will be. The way I was able to understand better the weight of what this carried was to learn the history behind the different names I carry.…more
STUDENT - DOCTORATE IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES
My name is Patricia Loga and I am from the village of Tubou in Lakeba, Lau with maternal links to Yaroi in Matuku, Lau. I am a proud 'mum' to my 9 year old daughter Noelani and am currently in New Zealand to pursue a Doctorate in Management studies at Massey University. I was born and raised in Suva and come from a loving Fijian family and I am what they call in Fijian the 'buina' - I am the youngest of my siblings.
You're currently studying towards a PhD in Management history and public history, why is this particular topic important to you and something you wanted to pursue/research?
My PhD research is in the area of management history and public policy. It is titled: "Public Service Motivation in a Post-Conflict State: the case of FIji."
To be honest, I am a complete nerd at heart. I enjoy research and picked up the interest whilst completing my post-graduate studies at the University of the South Pacific.…more
WOMENS RIGHTS ACTIVIST & FILM MAKER
Women’s rights activist, community organiser and filmmaker ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki is a courageous Tongan woman who has dedicated her life to telling stories that most people sweep under the fala. She dares to tell harrowing truths of the real life struggles of women in Tonga - survivors who she crosses paths with through her grassroots work to end violence against women and girls.
'Ofa is the Director of the Women & Children Crisis Center (WCCC) in Tonga. A space where women can turn to in a time of need. 'Ofa and her team of 25 don’t just wait for survivors to show up to doors, they work tirelessly on outreach and prevention.
The WCCC team carry out their prevention work through their concept of FOFOLA E FALA KAE FAI HA TALANGA. This means rolling out the mat and holding conversation with communities so that they can carefully unpack lives realities female survivors of violence in Tonga. Ofa and her team also use what they call a ULOA approach.…more
SIONE MOLI aka NONEH.
HIP HOP ARTIST
First off, my real name is Sione Kesome Isileli Moli. I was born on March 29th, 1999 at Stanford Hospital. My parents are Amato and Ala Moli, I have a younger brother named Jeremiah and an older sister named Loisi. My father is from Nuku Nuku, Tongatapu and my mother is from Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu. In terms of my heritage, I’m full Tongan with a bit of Samoan from my great great Grandmother, and I come from a line of hard working individuals who bred greatness.
Growing up, I pretty much lived everywhere, but my life began in East Palo Alto, California. When I was born, my family stayed in a run down apartment complex on a street called Scofield Ave, where there were no playgrounds and sidewalks. That was what East Palo Alto looked like at the time. With roaches on the floor, crime roaming the streets, and my brother on the way, my parents chose to move us out the hood.…more
Colleen Furgeson is a two time Olympian that competed in the women's 50 metre freestyle event at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and is now competing once again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the women's 100 metre freestyle. Colleen was also the flag bearer for the Marshall Islands in Tokyo last week.
Furgeson trained at Lincoln College under Coach Johnathan Jordan together with fellow Marshallese olympian Phillip Kinono. Together the pair make up the only two Olympians representing Marshall Islands this year at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
We spoke with Colleen in Tokyo about her pride for Marshall Islands, the atmosphere at the games and more. Heres what she had to say:
How does it feel to be representing Marshall Islands at the Olympics?
Representing the Marshall Islands is an amazing feeling and an extreme honor.…more
HOST OF FLOW'N WITH FINA & INSIDE THE GRIND
SAMOAN / FILIPINO
My name is Serafina Maulupe – I was born in a small town in the Midwest called Wayne, Nebraska. I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. I am a midwestern girl at heart. I currently reside in Murrieta, California. I am half Samoan & Filipino. My dad is Samoan, my family comes from the village of Aua and Fagaalu. My mom is Filipino, and my family comes from Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan. I am currently looking to get back into the basketball scene. I’d love to work for a team at the college level – either coaching or the operations side. While looking for my next opportunity – I created a platform called, “Inside the Grind” and my show highlights our Pasifika athletes.…more
Community Organiser / Founder of Tonga Youth Leaders / Pacific Youth Representative to the Commonwealth
Elizabeth V Kite is the Founding CEO of Take The Lead (TTL), formerly known as Tonga Youth Leaders, a Non-Government Organization that focuses on empowering underrepresented groups in Tonga to lead in places of national decision making. TTL run’s various leadership programmes including the only annual mock parliament for young women and girls, She Leads Fale Alea ‘O Tonga.…more