News Item

On Equal Footing

Success Stories 27 Mar 2020

Unlike other summer interns, Pauline says she is unsure of which career path she will ultimately end up in.

"I believe life is unpredictable," Pauline says, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University in Wellington.

"We will oddly end up in professions we never contemplate at an early stage. However I do see my self being successful in a profession whether that's in the political, justice or social services back in Solomon Islands."

Although Pauline may not be so sure of where she's headed post-studies, her confidence and belief in herself is solid and it all stems from her upbringing.

Born in Honiara, Pauline hails from a family of five, her father currently works in the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue division whereas her mother is a homemaker but instills the importance of being strong and independent to all three of her children.

Pauline also spent a couple of years in Palmerston North where she attended Awatapu College gaining her NCEA Level 1 and 2 qualifications before returning to her home country.

It wasn't long until Pauline found herself on kiwi soil again when she was awarded the NZ Aid Scholarship. Pauline is the second person in her family to be awarded the scholarship, following in her father's footsteps who was also a NZ Aid scholar.

"I grew up in a traditional system where males are seen as more valuable due to the idea that 'men provide' but my dad never yielded to that norm," Pauline says

"My dad saw his daughters as blessings and sculpted us to compete and achieve as equally as the men in our family."

"He constantly challenges me to beat the platform he has places, to achieve better than he has and to go beyond what everyone expects of me."

During her PCF Summer Internship programme, Pauline interned with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) in the Regional Partnership Team's Central office.

After spending 10 weeks with the ministry, Pauline says the organisation broadened her understanding of the Pacific diaspora in New Zealand and the importance of preserving Pacific cultures and languages.

"Interning at MPP has helped me develop great workplace skills such as punctuality, how to make effective work contributions, completing tasks on time, interacting with co-workers and showing respect for senior staff."

Impressed with how the Ministry for Pacific Peoples contributes to the Pacific community in New Zealand, Pauline hopes that government agencies in the Solomons are also able to strengthen their connections with its community to effectively empower and support them.

Although her sights on a particular role is unclear, Pauline knows that her passion for change will benefit her home country no matter which sector she decides to enter.

"I want to be able to make change and see constructive results of my contribution, especially in a developing and striving country like the Solomon Islands."

Image: Pauline at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Regional Partnerships Central office. Source: Ministry for Pacific Peoples