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November 2011 Divsion of Health Sciences

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter University of Otago Warm Pacific Greetings Ni sa bula vinaka Malo e lelei Kia Orana Talofa lava Fakalofa lahi atu Kam na mauri Halo olaketa Ia orana Taloha ni Namaste Kaise ‘Alii Wantok Halo Aloha mai e

In this Newsletter: Message from the 


Message from the  2012 PIHPSA President 


PIHPSA Executive Body  2012 


Upcoming Events 


PIHPSA vs. PILSA   Debate 


Graduate Profile:   Oka Sanerivi 


Scholarship   Information 


Health Sciences Fono  Reports 

P10 ‐11

Pacific Strategic  Framework Goals 


PIRSSU Contact   Details 


PIRSSU Welcome Warm Pacific greetings to you all,    Welcome to the bi‐annual newsletter from the   Pacific Unit in the Division of Health Sciences,   University of Otago. This is contains events for, and  information about Pacific students, PIHPSA Alumni,  staff and developments within the Division of  Health Sciences. Pacific students include those   studying Medicine, Physiotherapy, Dentistry,   Pharmacy, Radiation Therapy, the Medical Sciences  and Medical Laboratory Science.    2011 has been a year of growth for PIRSSU and the  Division of Health Sciences in terms of support and  programmes for Pacific students. This year has seen  the start of the POPO Programme providing   targeted support to Health Sciences First Year   students. Another first was the Pacific Health   Research Development Day run in collaboration  with the Health Research Council.     PIRSSU assists in the recruitment, retention and  support of Pacific students in the Division of Health  Sciences. Our research focuses on how to increase  the academic achievement and recruitment of   students and assess the effectiveness of current  support programmes. The Unit has a small team  which assists also in the co‐ordination of support   programmes for students.    PIHPSA is an excellent student organisation in the  Division. It works collaboratively with PIRSSU in  

providing support for students. The Division works  collaboratively with the Pacific Islands Centre,   Students Learning Centre and other internal and  external groups to ensure students are able to  achieve their goals at University. The Exec for 2012  have been elected (see page 3 for details).    Happiness is not a state to arrive at,   but a manner of travelling.   Margaret Lee Runbeck     Dare to be wise…Dare to Dream….Dare to Care!! 

Office Drop‐ins and Appointments     Students are welcome to drop‐by the office  without an appointment. If you wish to see the  Associate Dean Pacific or a particular staff member,  we encourage students to make an appointment  (contact details on pg 3). 

Acknowledgements  We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to  the Pro Vice‐Chancellor, Deans and leaders in the  Division for support  provided for Pacific Students  and Staff in the Division. We acknowlegde also the  Pacific Islands Centre, other University internal and  external support groups, including the important  role of families and communities.    

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

Message from the Associate Dean Pacific Warm Pacific Greetings to  you all.  

with you, and wish you the  very best in your career   pathways. Remember :  “Commit your ways to God  and He will keep your paths  straight”.  

Dr. Fa’afetai Sopoaga Address: 1/325 Great King Street Ground Floor, Physio Building Email: Phone: (03) 479 8483

Join us on Facebook under PIRSSU or Pacific Health Sciences

I would like to take this   opportunity to thank   Professor Crampton (PVC),  Andrea Howard and leaders  in the Division for enabling  the dreams  of our  Pacific  parents to resonate within  the walls of the University  of Otago. Fa’afetai.   Fa’amalo le faia o le faiva.  Thank you. Your work is  acknowledged with   gratefulness.   

PIHPSA Alumni we invite  you to remain in contact  and where you can, support  our Pacific students  (PIHPSA) in the Division of  Health Sciences, to ensure  we can increase the num‐ bers successfully completing  health sciences courses  through the University of  Otago. 

To our Pacific community,  we thank you for your   prayers, love and support. 

For those returning, have a  fantastic break and we look  forward to seeing you back  here in the new year. To the  outgoing president Victoria 

Congratulations to those  who have completed their  studies and are awaiting  graduation. We celebrate 

Dol, THANK YOU, you have  been a great role model. To  the incoming president  Rowena Peters, we have  great faith in you. To the  outgoing and new Exec ,you  are our leaders in training,  and we are very proud of  you.    

Keep well, aim high, always   remember that you can  make a difference!       God bless and keep you all  Tai     

The will to win, the desire  to succeed, the urge to  reach your full potential...  these are the keys that will  unlock the door to personal   excellence.   Confucius 

Message from the PIHPSA President Warm Pacific Greetings to  everyone!   

I’d like to introduce myself as  the new President for PIHPSA  2012, my name is Rowena  Peters and I come from the  beautiful islands of Samoa.  

assignment due the next day  or how cold it was that   Monday morning. Having that  support really made the year  fun and all the work bearable;   I hope to continue that   support for everyone.  

cook something new over the  summer and enjoy the holidays!  Here’s something to think about  over Christmas…   

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch‐ feet ice cold in the snow, stood  puzzling and puzzling, how could      2012’S exec looks amazing  it be so? It came without   I sat on the PIHPSA exec last  and is filled with bright and  ribbons. It came without tags. It  year and had such an amazing  keen students who all wish to  came without packages, boxes or  time! I loved working with Vic  make PIHPSA an organisation  bags. And he puzzled till his   and the other members   that supports our Pacific   puzzler was sore. Then the  organising events. As 2011  students, and encourages   Grinch thought of something he  comes to an end, I remember  everyone to excel in their   hadn’t before. What if   back to when I returned to  Christmas, he thought, doesn’t  studies.  nd Otago as a 2  year medical    come from a store. What if  student after a tough HSFY; as  We hope, with the help of  PIRSSU, to provide support for  Christmas, perhaps, means a  the year progressively got  everyone through mentoring,  little bit more”   more hectic with the many    cultural leadership training,  case group activities and 4‐6  ‐ Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole  tutorial classes, it was great to  weekly Friday lunches and  Christmas!  heaps of other random stuff  have PIHPSA as that haven    I wish you all a very Merry  to make 2012 as   where I could meet other   Christmas and a prosperous new  memorable as 2011!  Pacific students like myself    year!  and complain about an   So I hope everyone has an   

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awesome break, eat healthily,  look both ways before   crossing the road, learn to 

God bless,  Rowena 

Press on! A better fate awaits thee. Victor Hugo

Rowena Peters PIHPSA President 2012

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

PIHPSA Student Executive Body 2012 Rowena Peters  President  3rd Year Medicine 

Asa Vete  Vice‐President  3rd Year Dentistry 

Matt Gray  Secretary 

Brittany Stanley‐Wishart  Treasurer   

Josh Sua  Medicine Rep 

Rasela‐Joy (RJ) Faleatua  Physiotherapy Rep 

Prasheila Shandil  Dentistry Rep 

Jessal Patel  Pharmacy Rep 

Mosiah Marumatakimanu   OSMS Rep 

To contact PIHPSA:  Email: or   Contact via PIRSSU Office (details below) 

PIHPSA PIHPSA stands for the Pacific Islands Health Professional Students’ Association. Our membership is made up of pa‐ cific island students studying health professions at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic. We also have  members who are working health professionals and university staff who are involved in actively mentoring us. Our  membership is open to anyone who is passionate about pacific health issues. Our vision is to support our students  & encourage networking between and within the health professions. PIHPSA has been working to achieve that vi‐ sion via mentoring, advocacy, organising social events, sending students to conferences, cultural dances, Friday  lunches, encouraging research and the list goes on! Here is a list of our purposes and aims:     To provide mentoring and support for Pacific Island students studying health professional courses.     To help facilitate networking for our students with our future and existing health professionals.     To encourage Pacific culture and community     To provide a forum where students can be informed of pacific health issues     To help advise academic institutions on pacific curriculum and Pacific island recruitment and retention     To promote health professions as careers in pacific communities 

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

PIHPSA Movie Night—Harry Potter 7.2 In honour of the final Harry  Potter Movie, a group of  keen PIHPSA members  braved the cold and got cosy  at Hoyts.  Overall we found  the final movie to be a   wonderful wrap up for Harry  Potter and avid fans like  Rowena Peters your very  own PIHPSA Facilitator loved  it so much it was her second  viewing!  The fight between  Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix  Lestrange had some PIHPSA  members throwing fists at  the screen and shouting “OH  YEAH!!!” and in contrast  there were a couple of   moments when a few tears  were shed (ok for the first  time you watch it, but to cry  for your second viewing?).      Towards the end of the   movie as all eyes were on  Voldemort, one PIHPSA Exec   member “she who shall not  be named” started to nudge  and quietly asked “...Um 

Row, is that the Dark Lord?”   Awesome stuff, Taru you  might want to check out   Harry Potters 1 – 7.1 All in all  it was a great outing for   everyone and we greatly  look forward to our next  movie night.      We would like to dedicate  this to our members who  were not able to make it and  especially to Malia Lameta  who had to baby sit but   ended up waiting in her car  until the movie ended. 

Upcoming Events 2012 Summer School Starts: Jan 9th 2011  PHSI 191—for students who passed their lab component in  the Semester One PHSI 191 course but failed the paper  overall.   CHEM 191—for students who passed the internal assess‐ ments of the Semester One CHEM 191 course but failed the  paper with a total mark of at least 30%.   HUBS 192—for students who have passed the on‐line  (GLMs) and lab check‐outs in Semester Two HUBS 192 paper  but failed the paper with a D grade or FAIL and gained at  least 30% in the final exam.     Course Approval Semester One: Feb 17th—21st. PIRSSU  Staff will be available to talk over course load and pathways  for all Pacific students.    Leadership Retreat: Feb 24th‐25th—Leadership and   Orientation retreat for PIHPSA Exec members and POPO  Peer Educators. 

Dunedin and to Launch the 2012 POPO Programme.    Postgraduate BBQ: March 24th to welcome new and   returning postgraduate students to the Division.    Health Sciences Fono: April 27th‐29th Waihola Christian  Camp Ground.  Community Health Sessions: Held on the last   Sunday of every month. Specialists will go out to the local  Pacific community and talk about health issues that are   relevant to Pacific peoples.    Pacific Immersion Programme: 4th year Medical students go  out and spend the weekend with local Pacific families.  March 17‐18th 2012—Samoan attachment  April 21‐22nd 2012—Cook Islands attachment  June 30th‐July 1st 2012—Tongan attachment  September 8‐9th 2012—Minority Communities    

Division of Health Sciences Welcome and POPO Launch:  Friday March 2nd to welcome all health sciences students to 

Semester One: Feb 27th—June 1st  Mid‐semester Break: April 6th—15th  Mid‐year Exams: June 6th—20th 

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

PIHPSA Friday Lunch Sessions These sessions provide a mixture of academic, mentoring and  general support. They are held every Friday from 1‐2pm  (during term time) at the Hunter Centre, Division of Health  Sciences. The sessions provide good opportunities for support  staff and PIHPSA students to meet. External guests are also  invited to present on important topics. Friday sessions are  open to PIHPSA students, PIHPSA Alumni, staff in the   Division of Health Sciences and anyone passionate about   Pacific Health issues.    Topics for presentation provided are shared between  

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Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, PIHPSA, Medicine and  OSMS. PIHPSA Alumni and Post graduates students also have  an opportunity to present during these meetings.   Presentations include academic topics, cultural sessions,   social activities and research‐related topics. Sessions are  chaired by either PIHPSA or Otago staff members.    We are exploring the possibility of joining PIHPSA students  and support staff from Wellington and Christchurch to these  sessions. Please contact us if you need more information. 

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

FLEP HR Training and Pacific Teaching In September FLEP (Family Life 

dialogue, issues of communica‐

Education Pasefika) came to 

tion, understanding, family life 

Dunedin to teach in the various  and health of Pacific peoples  schools in the Division of  Health Sciences. While here,  FLEP also participated in an HR  training session focused on  communicating issues of   identity and cultural awareness  to general and academic staff  across the University of Otago,  Foundation Studies Ltd and  Otago Polytechnic.  Through drama, dance and  

were expressed.  At the end of the session, the  Manager of Human Resources,  Jill Turner, was presented with   artwork  painted during the  training session depicting the  two worlds that the Pacific   person must traverse and   understand.  The session was very well   received. 

PIHPSA vs. PILSA Debate Wednesday 14 September, 12 noon in the Moot Court, Otago University.

This year PIHPSA was challenged to a   debate by PILSA (Pacific Islands Law   Students’ Association) as part of their   Pacific Legal Week celebrations.  The topic was “Should the New Zealand  government be responsible for Pacific  Health”.   Josh Sua, Brittany Stanley‐Wishart and  Ethan Rubin argued that yes, the New   Zealand government should be   responsible to Pacific health, not only in  New Zealand but also across the wider  Pacific. The debate was judged by Dr   Fanaafi Le Tagaloa Aiono and our very  own Dr Latika Samalia.   

Dare to Care   

We are all faced with a   series of great opportunities   brilliantly disguised as    impossible situations.    Charles R. Swindoll 

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One of the objectives of the week is to  share knowledge and develop awareness  and understanding of the range of issues  facing the Pacific Community. It is hoped  that the week will provide a forum for in  depth analysis and collaboration that will  enable proposals for reforms and   contribute to national and international  progress.  

After a heated debate, our team of first  year health sciences students were   announced the winners.   A big thank you goes to everyone that  went to support our first year students  and to all those who put time in to give  them tips and debating strategies. 

Well done PIHPSA!! 

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

Oka Sanerivi 

Bachelor of Science in Anatomy and Structural Biology Bachelor of Physiotherapy Otago University

Graduate Profile  Originally from Auckland, Oka chose to move to the wintry south because “it is the best university in the country, and they undoubtedly have the best School of Physiotherapy”. Oka completed his first degree, a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy and Structural Biology in 2007 and then spent a further three years completing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. When asked what influenced him to study Physiotherapy, Oka said that he did not chose the degree, the degree chose him through his passion for sports and desire to help people. Today, Oka is a Rotational Physiotherapist at North Shore Hospital in Auckland. He currently provides Physiotherapy services to a Medical and Surgical Ward.

the workforce is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. As a young Health Professional, Oka has much advice for those thinking of Physiotherapy as a career. To succeed, Oka says to “not hold back. I'd encourage you that if you have a love for people and want to see people of all ages have a better quality of life, get into Physiotherapy and throw everything you have into it. If you're like me and don't get admitted to the School first time (or second time) take heart and keep trying. It's worth it beyond dollars and cents”.

Of Samoan and Tongan descent, Oka believes that being Pacific is a great advantage in this field. “It colours everything we do. From how we relate to patients to how we work together with our colleagues even to how we share lunch. Our Pacific people are renowned for being a joyful and caring people, and these are qualities that are highly sought after in my area”. With a passion for people and his field of expertise, Oka finds that he is continuously challenged and rewarded by seeing that people get better with his help, and being a recent graduate, getting paid is an extra bonus. However, Oka also admits that the most valuable lesson he has learnt since entering Page 7

...take heart and keep trying...

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

Scholarship Information/Useful Websites Now is the time to start   thinking about applying for   scholarships and funding both  as undergraduate students  and post‐graduates. 

worse off than before.  

The following websites are a  few of the many sites that  Make sure you shop around  offer scholarships and    for scholarships.   funding:    University of Otago     There are many organizations  Scholarships Database:  If you feel that you do not  that offer both funding and have the grades or that there  scholarships, the following  scholarships/index.html  are no scholarships out there  are a few that offer   Health Research Council  that fit your circumstances,  scholarships however, please  Funding and Scholarships:  please do not dismiss this   contact Malia Lameta if you section. When applying for  need more information or  search.html? scholarships, the worst that  assistance in filling out the  search=scholarship  can happen is that your   application forms.  Break Out Scholarships:  application is not successful. If   this happens, you are no     

index.php?page=BreakOut Ministry of Pacific Island Af‐ fairs: scholarships/  Ministry of Health: mohcorp/careers.aspx? id=276  Le Va page/5‐Welcome  Divisional Website  (admission information): 

Thought of the day… (A lesson in positive thinking) Jerry is the kind of guy you love to  hate. He is always in a good mood  and always has something positive to  say. When someone would ask him  how he was doing, he would reply, "If  I were any better, I would be twins!"  He was a unique manager and had  several waiters who had followed  him around from restaurant to   restaurant. The reason the waiters  followed Jerry was because of his  attitude.   Seeing this style really made me   curious, so one day I went up to Jerry  and said, “I don't get it! You can't be  a positive person all of the time. How  do you do it?" Jerry replied,   "Each morning I wake up and say to  myself, Jerry, you have two choices  today. You can choose to be in a  good mood or you can choose to be  in a bad mood. I choose to be in a  good mood.   Each time something bad happens, I  can choose to be a victim or I can  choose to learn from it. I choose to  learn from it.   Every time someone comes to me  complaining, I can choose to accept  their complaining or I can point out  the positive side of life. I choose the  positive side of life.  "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I   protested. "Yes, it is," Jerry said. "Life  Page 8

is all about choices. When you cut  away all the junk, every situation is a  choice. You choose how you react to  situations. You choose how people will  affect your mood. You choose to be in  a good mood or bad mood. The   bottom line: It's your choice how you  live life."    I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon  thereafter, I left the restaurant. We  lost touch, but I often thought about  him when I made a choice about life  instead of reacting to it.    Several years later, I heard that Jerry  did something you are never supposed  to do; he left the back door open one  morning and was held up at gun  point . While trying to open the safe,  his hand slipped. The robbers panicked  and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found  relatively quickly and rushed to the  local trauma centre. After 18 hours of  surgery and weeks of intensive care,  Jerry was released from the hospital  with fragments of the bullets still in his  body.    I saw Jerry about six months after the  accident. When I asked him how he  was, he replied, "If I were any better,  I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I  declined but did ask him what had  gone through his mind as the robbery  took place. “The first thing that went  through my mind was I should have  locked the back door," Jerry replied. 

"Then, as I lay on the floor, I   remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live or I could  choose to die. I chose to live."    "Weren't you scared? Did you lose  consciousness?" I asked. Jerry   continued, "...the paramedics were  great. They kept telling me I was  going to be fine. But when they  wheeled me into the ER and I saw  the expressions on the faces of the  doctors, I got really scared. In their  eyes, I read 'he's a dead man.' I  knew I needed to take action." "  What did you do?" I asked. "Well,  there was a big burly nurse shouting  questions at me," said Jerry. "She  asked if I was allergic to anything.  'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and  nurses stopped working as they  waited for my reply. I took a deep  breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over  their laughter, I told them, 'I am  choosing to live. Operate on me as if  I am alive, not dead.'"    Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his  doctors, but also because of his  amazing attitude. I learned from him  that every day we have the choice to  live fully. Attitude, after all, is   everything.    Happiness is not something ready  made. It comes from your own   actions.   Dalai Lama  

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

Pacific Strategic Group   


Division        DSM    Dentistry  Physiotherapy  Pharmacy  OSMS  Planning & Funding  Pacific Islands Centre  Wellington Campus  Christchurch Campus  PIHPSA  Pacific Trust Otago 

    Prof. Crampton, PVC  Andrea Howard, Director Policy and Planning  Dr Fa’afetai Sopoaga, Associate Dean Pacific  Richard White, Administrative Support  Prof. Philip Hill    Dr Rose Richards  Dr Jonathan Leichter    Chris Higgs  Prof. Pauline Norris    Assoc. Prof. Tony Merriman      Naomi Weaver  Tofilau Nina Kirifi‐Alai    Dr Karlo Mila    Allamanda Fa’atoese    President/Vice‐president    Wale Tobata   



Pacific Student Support Staff Group Rosemary Kardos—Senior Lecturer  Dentistry  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 7476 

Katrina Bryant—Pro. Practice Fellow  Physiotherapy  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 4034 

Dr Latika Samalia—Pro. Practice Fellow  Anatomy & Structural Biology  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 5145 

Prof. Pauline Norris—Chair in Social Pharmacy  Pharmacy  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 7359 

Dr Sarah Young  Pathology  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 3457 

Dr Susan Heydon—Lecturer  Pharmacy  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 5875 

Dr Fa’afetai Sopoaga, Associate Dean Pacific  Medicine  Email:  Phone Number: (03) 479 8493 

Nadia Smith, Clinical Tutor  Radiation Therapy  Email:  Phone: (03) 4709310  

Simon Chu, Academic Dean  Foundation Studies  Email:  Phone Number: (03) (479) 5717  

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

Health Sciences Fono Feedback 

wasn’t long before the team had put together a recipe for an awesome camp. Back to the Wednesday meetings, Jordan gave us the low down on the hundreds of dollars PIHPSA casually had Countless hours were involved to ensure the PIHPSA lying around in the bank. Yeah Right. He decided on 2011 Camp would be a success! (My impression from the last meeting was that the camp was EPIC! so guts for looking for sponsors for this years’ camp. What a great idea! With the help from once again the staff at PIRSSU those who couldn’t make it...maybe next year aye) aka Malia, letters were made and enveloped to various Fortunately the camp was well revised and planned by none other than PIHPSA president Victoria Dol and her outlets and supermarkets. These included Cadbury 2011 executive. However it is also important to note the factory, new world, farmers and stationary warehouse. Members of the exec were then divided into groups, i.e. contribution of the staff here at PIRSSU. Don’t want to mention any names but Malia was awesome! Thank you. amazing group, star group etc. These groups were responsible for ensuring the variety of events at the camp During the weekly executive meetings the president and ran accordingly. As the camp neared, stress mounted among the exec i.e. Matt’s long hair started to grey. Now the exec would gather and after a prayer, big feeds! all that was left was some fine tuning of transportation An exec dinner at ‘Great taste’ allowed us to format a and making sure guest speakers were still available for schedule for the camp. The exec decided to keep the the camp. agenda similar to the camp last year, with some modifications here and there. Ideas such as the amazing At the end of the day crucial team work and race, camp fire, mud slides and zumba in the mornings communication between PIHPSA and Malia laid the were among a few that were thrown around the table. platform for one hell of a time at Waihola! Initiatives for PIHPSA t-shirts were also brought up. It Preparation for PIHPSA Camp 2011! By Asa Vete

science students. After an afternoon of mud sliding and running around the hungry students descended upon a much needed dinner of roast chicken. The kitchen staff The kitchen team ruled the camp, hands down!!! Lead by never ceased to amaze the students with what they Camp Mum Mrs Aniva Slater and Chief Chef Ms Tala’i brought over the counter, everything readily consumed and the satisfied looks on the well fed students’ faces Mapusua along with their kitchen hand Malia they said it all. Sunday morning for any Pacific kitchen staff managed to feed over 60 hungry staff and students is the most hectic!! Running on Island time, the students during the duration of the camp!! For the first night of woke up 3 hours later than they were supposed to and the camp we had delicious chop suey and rice followed by Dr Tai’s famous scones!!! To greet us in the morning started on the umu. The boys worked outside getting the fire started while the girls all gathered around in the was island style cocoa rice made from pure Samoan roasted and ground cocoa, for most it was their first time kitchen for “My Kitchen Rules” with Malia; menu – corned beef stew inside whole roasted pumpkins. This sampling this dish. The kitchen staff as merry as they involved intricately carving up the pumpkin and were surprised everyone again during lunch time with disposing of the inner seeds so the corned beef stew mix sandwich roles filled with chicken, eggs and vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables for healthy health can be poured in. One important thing to note when Kitchen Staff Report By Melbourne Mauiliu

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter

making this dish is that the lid is very important and must be retained, not butchered. Everyone pitched in and helped where they could while the kitchen staff directed them, it was like a scene out of a Sunday morning back in the islands – the only thing missing were the church bells and of course my mum yelling (Malia was very nice). To make it more of a Pacific feast we had dry curry, mutton flaps, taro and bananas. To top it off was a beautiful vegetable salad, like always a healthy meal for the healthy health sciences students. The Pro-Vice

Chancellor Professor Peter Crampton, Staff and Community joined us later on to share our to’onai with us and the company enjoyed the food. The kitchen staff, always smiling did a wonderful job taking care of the students. The sounds of laughter from the kitchen and the beautiful and mouth watering aroma never failed to lift our spirits.

‘Experience makes perfect’ Tarucilla Tatui

everyone could relate to.

The opportunity to lead and facilitate the Research Workshop at the PIHPSA camp was a great learning experience. Not only in terms of improving my personal skills in public speaking but boosting self-confidence as well. On inception, the idea of facilitating the workshop seemed quite a challenge, nerve-wrecking to say the least. However, I found it to be stimulating and resourceful. I also had the privilege to be assisted by Dr Tai Sopoaga where she provided useful tips and advice that were fundamental to my role as a facilitator. During our brief conversation over breakfast, I learnt that it was important to always ‘engage with the audience’ and the best place to start was the introduction. Subsequently, I progressively came to grips with the formality of things. The audience was great and they made my job a whole lot easier. One of the major tasks required was to summarise what each speaker had said. This required a lot of active listening, attention, and trying to put it in a context that

After all, when you’re well fed you are one happy person!!!

On the day, we had four guest speakers- Dr Rose Richards, the Deputy Director of a Research Unit in the Otago Medical School, Neil Kerr, a fourth year medical student who conducted a research for his BMedSci (Hons) degree he completed last year, Josh Chamberlain, a third year medical student currently undertaking a research for his BMedSci (Hons) Degree, and, Rhys Fa’avae, a fourth year medical student who completed his research under the Summer Studentship programme. Each speaker, in their own level of expertise, contributed immensely to our knowledge of research. In general, it was indeed a humbling and great opportunity to participate in the Research Workshop particularly as facilitator. This was a great learning experience and something that could be allocated amongst our members as I believe we all have the potential and the capability of carrying out such tasks. Facilitating a workshop is a skill that comes with experience and I believe that with a lot of experience, things can be perfected.

Melbourne Mauiliu from Osama banana). In Kiribati, teams had to complete a puzzle of Sudoku, top prize going to Marcus!! In New Zealand, teams had to munch their way through dry weetbix without the assistance of It’s all in the name, the amazing race was AMAZING! any liquid refreshments, all complied except Matthew, Preparing for it and coming up with ideas on how to who was caught throwing half a weetbix away without make that afternoon fun and awesome was such an enjoyable task. We met a few times and came up with a Mara noticing. In the Cook Islands, Teams had to number of challenges for the race; and in the end, we had complete an assault course, and finally, each team had to complete the race by going down a large mudslide. 5 challenges which were represented by different countries in the Pacific. The countries were Niue, Samoa, Everyone loved the race, and even a month after camp Cook Islands, Kiribati and New Zealand. finished, we can’t seem to stop talking about it. The The teams that were created on the first night of camp all highlight of some peoples’ weekend, which was mentioned during camp reflection on Sunday, was the participated; Bananas in Pyjamas, Wolfpack, mudslide. Banananami, Dr Who and Osama Banana. The Amazing Race By Matthew & Rowena

In Samoa, teams had to navigate with water balloons, this went well until Team Bananas in Pyjamas decided to attack Osama Banana with their water balloons… good stuff! In Niue, teams had to eat their way through a tub of Jelly, sympathies go out to Team Dr Who, who had to eat through the saltiest Jelly on earth (Blame none other than

The amazing race was a good experience because everyone participated and even though it was competitive, it was nice to see team members help each other out at the different stations. Overall, the race was an awesome experience!!

Pacific Islands Research & Student Support Unit Newsletter



To encourage Pacific research excellence. The Pacific Research Development Day 2011 was run in conjunction with NZ Health Research Council.


To demonstrate and value leadership in Pacific matters.


To strengthen community engagement. The Division will continue to build strong relationships with Pacific families, and provide pathways for Pacific students at schools to ensure they are informed, inspired and able to capture the opportunities available in the University.


To enhance capability. The Division of Health Sciences is focused on enhancing the capability of Pacific staff and students.


To develop the Pacific curriculum. Ensuring that curricula in the Division’s Professional Programmes incorporate a Pacific component.


To contribute to the Pacific region and international progress. The Division has a strong commitment to continue to support and build mutually beneficial relationships with the wider Pacific region.

Merry Christmas and a  Happy New Year  from the PIRSSU Team  PIRSSU Corner Dr Fa’afetai Sopoaga Associate Dean Pacific Division of Health Sciences

PIRSSU Contact Details Malia Lameta Pacific Project Coordinator PIRSSU Page 12

Tangi Joseph Secretary PIRSSU

Tangi Joseph Secretary 1/325 Great King Street Rm G01, Ground Floor Physio Building University of Otago

To contact any or all PIRSSU staff, please use the PIRSSU email address under Contact details.

Office: (03) 479 8493 Fax: (03) 479 3935

PIRSSU Newsletter Nov2011  

PIRSSU Newsletter, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago

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