UC student wins PM's Pacific Youth leader award

01 December 2016

A University of Canterbury student has been recognised for his inspiring leadership at the 2016 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards held at Parliament yesterday.

UC student wins PM's Pacific Youth leader award

UC Political Science and History student and Pasifika youth leader Josiah Tualamali'i (pictured left) has won the 2016 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award for Leadership & Inspiration. Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga (right) described Josiah as an inspiring role model.

A University of Canterbury (UC) student has been recognised for his inspiring leadership at the 2016 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards held at Parliament yesterday.

Josiah Tualamali’i, a UC Political Science and History student and Pasifika youth leader won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award for Leadership & Inspiration sponsored by Air New Zealand.

Josiah has overcome personal obstacles to embrace his Pacific identity, and hopes to forge a career as an academic in political science and history. The Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award prize – which includes a trip to Geneva to witness leadership on the global stage – will provide Josiah with an invaluable experience in diplomacy and he hopes to share his story to inspire others on his return.

“I want to continue the work I am doing at University, in Christchurch and New Zealand to make sure our community is well represented in positions of decision making and that the voices of our community are being listened to and acted on,” he says.

Josiah, who attended Middleton Grange School, has been described as an inspirational role model for all New Zealanders. Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says the awards recognise excellence and achievement in commerce, the arts, sports, community and leadership.

“The nine inspiring winners have been recognised for their impressive contributions to New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural life. They are excelling academically, making significant contributions to their community, or demonstrating a skill in business”.

Josiah is a Samoan New Zealander who has worked to support, develop and mentor Pacific young people in Christchurch and across New Zealand for the last six years. He also provides strategic advice to organisations, councils, MPs and government agencies to help enable Pacific young people to thrive and succeed socially, in their education, wellbeing, civic participation and everyday life.

He helped develop the University of Canterbury’s Pacific strategy and has worked with the University’s Pacific Development Team to deliver a first-year student mentoring programme, mentoring four students this year. He has also served on the University of Canterbury Samoan Students’ Association.

An active member of Christchurch’s Pacific community, Josiah helped establish the PYLAT Council – Pacific Youth Leadership And Transformation. As a founding member, Josiah was appointed to the position of vice Treasurer, then Treasurer and is now Chair of the PYLAT Council Charitable Trust. He has played a key role in bringing together different communities across the city.

He also led the development of iSPEAK, a bi-monthly forum for Pacific youth to discuss issues affecting people in New Zealand, such as the Christchurch recovery and living wage campaign. Josiah coordinates feedback from these fono to submit to the relevant Minister. This initiative is helping young Pacific people participate in the political process.

Josiah sits on a number of Boards, advocating for Pacific youth and ensuring young people’s ideas and perspectives are considered.

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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