News Item

Aspiring Samoan journo takes on NZ newsrooms

Success Stories 4 Jul 2019

I am Vaelei Von Dincklage from the village of Luatuanuu. I am currently studying Media and Journalism at the National University of Samoa.

In my days as a Saint Mary’s College student, I always had that passion for reading and writing. Our college does not offer journalism or any media subjects. So I took up commerce thinking that I will make a good businesswoman one day.

After completing my years at Saint Mary's, I went on to uni with the intent of continuing on the commerce pathway. However, it became more apparent that I wasn't being true to myself especially seeing as maths is one of my weaknesses. I took up the courage to enrol myself in the media and journalism program and since then I see the world through different lenses. People think media and journalism is an easy path but that is not true, I've encountered a number of challenges but I've also been able to surpass them and learn from it. I do not regret my decision of entering this field as I feel more fulfilled and can honestly say that I am in the right place.

My late grandfather Aeau Aviu Aumua is my inspiration. He motivated me and pushed me to my limits.

One of the biggest challenges that our Pacific region is facing is climate change and it is something that the Pacific needs to consistently bring awareness of. Once I become a journalist I would like to write stories involving environmental subjects as well as do sports reporting. Journalism for me is ensuring that all voices are heard especially out here in the Pacific where we tend to be overlooked by those in higher or more powerful countries.

The journalist that I admire in my country Samoa is Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, he is Samoa’s representative for Radio Polynesia, a reporter and a correspondent for Radio New Zealand International (RNZI). He is also the former president for the Journalists Association of Samoa aka JAWS. I admire him because every time he’s on the radio I would always listen to it. The way he speaks and engage himself in a conversation on the radio is just superb. I want to be just like him. Sometimes when difficulties or challenges come my way I always feel like giving up but when I think of the dream that I am chasing then this guy would always come to mind. I always think to myself that guy sure had challenges but he is still standing in the media industry. If he can do it then I can definitely do it.

My experience here as a PCF intern I had the chance to meet professional writers, reporters, filmmakers, announcers and also editors. I’ve learned so much from all of them. They gave me a new perspective on media and journalism. They made me realised that if I am passionate about something I should go for it and never have any second thoughts. Be a risk-taker!

This internship program can help empower and encourage the future journalists of the Pacific and I encourage all the Pacific-based students to be a part of this internship program.