Pasifika Fono – Term 2

In week 9 of Term 2, Pasifika family members, students and supportive staff gathered to celebrate Pasifika culture and student achievement at the second Fono evening for 2023. Pasifika student leaders confidently welcomed guests and spoke in their native languages whenever appropriate throughout the evening. The evening began with some feedback from our Term 1 Fono and introductions from the newly established Pasefika Parent Komiti. The Komiti presented their vision to work together with the school to support Westlake Pasifika students and families to thrive and flourish in all aspects of their schooling. They also invited feedback from the Pasifika community on what they see as the purpose of this committee and what they would like future Fono evenings to include. Guests enjoyed a performance by the Fijian group who sang Noqu Masu, which was followed by an inspiring speech by WGHS alumni and current staff member Celia Toganivalu-Kikau who told her story and encouraged students to value their educational opportunities.

A delicious and abundant supper was served in a traditional Samoan way by some of our students, and the traditional ‘call for food’ was performed by Constantine Mataafa. Thanks to the members of the Pasefika Parent Komiti who provided the cultural dishes, and to our in-house caterer, Ann Muir for organising the great selection of Pālangi food. After supper, the Pasifika Mentors led by Miriam Robinson, presented certificates to students to celebrate their cultural, sporting and academic achievements over this term. Year 11 student Mel Teulilo gave an outstanding speech on cultural identity, for which she recently gained Excellence in Level 1 English, and was a great way to exemplify Pasifika student success. The evening finished with a graceful performance from the Tongan Group who are practising hard in preparation for the Pasefika Night next term on August 17.

The evening was attended by over 70 guests, representing about 25 Pasifika families. We are grateful to Acting Principal Mr David Burton, Presiding member of the board Ms Joy Bradfield and board member Dr Stephven Kolose, who were all able to attend as invited guests.