Shana Talivaa Malio

Shana Malio-Satele is a Partnered Delivery Manager at ACC, leading work on injury prevention strategies for Child, Youth, Wellbeing. A former national director of MATES Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme, Shana was a Vodafone World of Difference recipient in 2015 and has recently (August 2020) been awarded a NEXT Foundation Fellowship.

Every weekend Shana Malio-Satele leaves Wellington where her job with ACC is based and returns to her home community in Auckland. There she works alongside a collective of young Pacific youth who use their stories and experience to mobilise other rangatahi around pressing issues.

For example as Covid-19 hit South Auckland in August, South Seas Healthcare Pacific Youth got together to create the “Bubblegum – Let’s Stick Together” campaign. They set up a call centre and a digital platform to support young people, and Shana was on hand to help.

“I know in my life I have benefited from someone like me investing in, and encouraging, me,” she says. “And that’s why I do this work.”

When Shana is out working in the community, she always has at least one of her family’s three grandchildren with her.

“I want them growing up knowing what is possible,” she says. “For them to understand that as Pacific children they can be trail-blazers in New Zealand.”

As a first generation Samoan New Zealander, Shana was encouraged to go to university and get an education. But she remembers a critical moment, while at Law School, when her Aunt suggested she take time out every Wednesday, away from the Library and lecture theatres, for Rosary Service at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Balmoral.

“I needed to keep my spiritual cup full if I was going to be successful.”

And successful she has been. Shana completed her undergraduate degrees in Arts, Law and two masters’ degrees in Anthropology and Pacific Literature at the University of Auckland in 2008. She was admitted to the Auckland High Court as a registered solicitor and barrister at the end of that year.

“As much as learning at University is about using ‘your head’, “ she says, “it is also about having the ‘heart’ for it when things get challenging. It’s your ‘heart’ and the unteachable things you grow up with that help you get through”.

In 2012 Shana joined Great Potentials (a charity helping children, young people and families to release potential, reduce disparities and break the cycle of disadvantage). There she was appointed the MATES programme manager, with the initial responsibility for developing the strategic and operational policy, and implementation of the MATES programme. In 2015, she was one of six recipients to receive a NZ Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Award. This was extended into 2016 and enabled her to lead the growth and expansion of MATES nationally.

Today Shana is working for youth in many ways including as a committee member of the J R McKenzie Trust’s Peter McKenzie Project which aims to see a reduction in the number of children, whānau and families living in poverty.

The NEXT Foundation Scholarship Shana has just won will help her to further develop a conceptual framework for youth-led community initiatives.

“Pacific youth know their potential and are mobilising themselves as a community,” Shana observes.

“They are asking themselves: ‘what does collective success look like for my family?

“It’s a more informed outlook and with it they are empowered to succeed.”

Shana loves serving the communities she grew up in.

“For me, the choice to take up a management role in a crown entity was to enhance my knowledge so that I could be of more value to the community, based on what I learn and experience.

“I hope that in a couple of years, I’ll be able to come back to serve in a community-based role again.”