On the eve of its formal graduation ceremonies this week, Whitireia and WelTec | Te Pūkenga recognised the success of Pacific learners with its signature Pacific Graduation Celebration event, held at its Porirua campus.
Pacific graduands gathered with family and the community to give thanks, acknowledge the journey traveled, and celebrate together.
Speakers at the event included guest attendee Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone, Secretary for Pacific Peoples, and student representative Vasemaca Naborisi, who has just completed her postgraduate certificate in primary care specialising in nursing.
Commenting on the celebration, Ms Clifford-Lidstone said: “On behalf of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, I am very proud to support this acknowledgement of Pacific success and excellence in vocational education, which will result in our graduates entering meaningful careers.
“Seeing Pacific peoples succeed in vocational education aligns with our Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou goals to have prosperous Pacific communities and confident, thriving, resilient Pacific people.
“Malo lava on your achievements to date and may you continue to improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific communities through tautua – service.”
Jean Mitaera, Chief Advisor, Centre for Pacific Health and Social Practice at Whitireia and WelTec | Te Pūkenga said of the occasion: “The success of each Pacific graduate is immediately impactful on their families and communities.
“That is the significance of vocational education – relevant, accessible, with the potential to change lives.”
Mark Oldershaw, Manahautū, Executive Director of Whitireia and WelTec | Te Pūkenga said: “For many, the journey to qualifying is challenging, with work, family and life often becoming a necessary priority over study.
“So, to reach the significant milestone of completion, after much sacrifice, hard work, and with tremendous support from family and friends, is definitely worth celebrating.
“I am immensely proud of all of our graduates and it has been an honour to join this joyful recognition of Pacific success.”