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Kiwi Minister’s Speech Inspires College Students

Kiwi Minister’s Speech  Inspires College Students
New Zealand Government Minister Jenny Salesa interacts with Lautoka Andhra Sangam College Year 13 student Rosi Tora after opening the Government Community Telecentre in Lautoka on 22 February 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
February 23
11:57 2018

From a humble beginning in Tonga, Jenny Salesa believes that women from small island states in the Pacific have the ability to become successful politicians.

The New Zealand Government Minister raised the sentiment while speaking to more than 300 students at the Lautoka Andhra Sangam College yesterday.

She was there to open the Government’s Community Telecentre. She also had the chance to interact with students.

“I was born in Tonga, and spent the first 16 years of my life there. So you and I have something in common – our Pasifika upbringing, traditions, and cultures,” Ms Salesa said.

“As a young Tongan, living first in Tonga and then in New Zealand, I had no idea that one day I would be standing before young Pacific students as a politician.

“My message to you all therefore is to aim high – you never know what you might achieve and where you might end up – perhaps a politician for New Zealand or Fiji.

“In any case, your education is an important part of the journey ahead of you.”

She currently holds the portfolios of Minister for Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities. This also includes Associate Minister for Education, Health, Housing and Urban Development.

On the subject of gender, Ms Salesa said the delegation from New Zealand were entirely female.

“Many of your school leaders and role models up on the stage are also female, I hope that sends a message to young women out there today that women can do anything,” she said.

In this world, Ms Salesa advised students that access to computers and the internet was important.

“The ability to effectively use this technology – are ever more important for full participation in economic, political and social life,” she said.

“Every day, people are using technology and the internet to buy and sell goods and services, access government services, work from home, acquire new skills using distance learning, and make better informed decisions about their healthcare needs.”

Headteacher Aruna Singh said Ms Salesa delivered an inspiring speech to her students.

“This is very encouraging, we hardly get this kind of opportunity to have a high delegation to come and speak to our students who were really motivated,” she said.

Ms Singh also thanked the Fijian Government for their continuing support in uplifting the education system in Fiji.

Year 13 student Rosi Tora said it was an honour to interact with Ms Salesa.

“She is very encouraging to us young females, through her I’ve been motivated that we can do anything if we work hard in school, I aim to follow her path in the future,” she said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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