Pelimani Fisi'iahi – Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
Pelimani says choosing to study in South Auckland was the best decision he ever made. He made a whole new whānau of classmates, support staff and lecturers, while building his skills to become the best teacher he can be.
“My passion for education began while I was working in the hospitality industry, training new staff and seeing them experience a light bulb moment when they learnt a new skill. That, combined with my love for kids and the idea that I could make a difference for our youth, made pursuing a teaching career a no-brainer.
“At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study in South Auckland but my mother, who graduated from the South Auckland Campus in 2015, encouraged me to try it. To this day, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
“Studying in South Auckland allowed me to be part of an incredibly rich culture and diverse teaching space. I had the privilege of studying with people who wore South Auckland values on their sleeves, whether it was volunteering to mentor other students who needed help, praising every single lecturer and tutor who helped us, or simply being there for each other when times were tough. One unique thing I’ll never forget about studying in South Auckland was that we never sought to achieve as individuals; we always made sure we succeeded as one big group.
“I’ve found a whole new whānau of classmates, support staff and lecturers, who have gifted me valuable memories, lessons and support when I needed it most. Our common passion for youth and genuine love for one another allowed us to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to translate our drive into action and become the best teachers we could be.
“The best thing about teaching is being part of children’s lives every day. No matter how hard my day may be, knowing that I have a platform to make a positive difference on a child’s life is the reason I’m in this career. I love building relationships with whānau too, so my positive influence extends beyond the classroom.
“One day, I want to be involved with running the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) programme in South Auckland, so I can give back to the staff who helped me get to where I am today. I also want to write journal articles about Māori and Pasifika children, to have a positive impact on marginalised communities within New Zealand and around the world.”