2011 Pasifika Leaders Testimonials

Afiafi Leala

Afiafi Leala
Bank Manager, Te Atatu
Westpac NZ Ltd

The benefits I have received from being on the programme are the tools and different viewpoints shared by our lecturers and cohort. These have helped me approach professional challenges in a different way to what I would normally do with greater success. I have also been given opportunities to participate in work programmes involving Pasifika youth, through my involvement with the BEST programme.

On a personal level, the programme has brought new friendships and reignited a love for learning.

Emma Sullivan

Emma Sullivan
Operations Coordinator
University of Auckland Business School

The BEST Pasifika Leadership Programme has helped me to appreciate my Pacific island culture and to find my voice and story as a Pacific island woman.

I have tapped into renewed pride and passion for my culture, and now realise that the skills and attributes that the Pacific Island culture intrinsically offers are an absolute advantage in a Corporate environment.

Eroni Clarke

Eroni Clarke
AOD & Gambling Clinician
Tupu Services
Waitemata DHB

“The BEST Pasifika Leadership course has been life changing and professionally enhancing. It has challenged my heart and mind to achieving higher in business and corporate without compromising Pasifika values; for it is a key strength to success. Some of the key focuses being improving all forms of communications, understanding group dynamics, business strategy, differences in Leadership vs. Management, and finding your style to the significance of reflective writing, to name only a few.

This course is vital to growing and challenging future Pacific Leaders impacting the business world.

Also, the privilege to journey with other amazing Pacific leaders on this course – learning together, growing together, laughing and crying. I am blessed to call them Aiga.

I commend Beatrice Faumuina’s Vision and those at BEST Pasifika Leadership Academy on recognising the need and creating the Academy for Pacific leaders.

Faafetai lava mo le avanoa.”

Francina Gataua

Francina Gataua
Tertiary Manager – Manukau Campus
BEST Pacific Institute of Education

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the BEST Leadership Programme, primarily because of the relationships I have formed as part of this process – ones that I imagine have been forged for a long time…but more so because I feel that through the different facets and challenges placed before me, I have been sharpened...in purpose, value, direction and outlook.

Thank you Beatrice, Selina, Brad and Roseann…

Malia Apikotoa

Malia Apikotoa
Northern Sales Manager
State Insurance

I have been to so many leadership programmes in my working life, whilst I was at University, when I worked in the public sector and the private sector, so I have been blessed in so many ways. The highlight of all those programmes is the Best Leadership Academy Programme. Simply due to how it has nurtured my skills and knowledge both personally and professionally. The programme really tests our theoretical understanding by making us complete the fulfillment via practical sessions.

From the People Management sessions, you learn to pay attention to details. It teaches you the ability to make the call on when to manage or lead a situation. The Strategy and Change sessions, you are taught how to understand strategy and its role in every organisation whether big or small and how Change Management effectively helps you as a Leader/Manager to transition people and process through any type of change. The Pasifika Mat, takes Leaders to a different environment where you are stretched as far as you can go. There are no excuses acceptable in this programme, all session requirements are fulfilled even if you hand them in late, you are still required to complete all modules. Here is where the extra push came from.

Although it was a “full on” programme; we also had a lot of fun, from walking over the harbour bridge to boxing sessions in Waiheke Island, to driving a million dollar yacht to watching many exceptional and inspirational speakers. This has been a journey of a lifetime, the skills that I have picked up from this programme will be with my forever. My special thanks to Beatrice Faumuina and her leadership team for her dreams and visioning. A heartfelt thank you to the State Insurance Leadership team for believing and investing in my future so I can give back to our staff and our external customers. Last but not the least, to my loving husband, my three boys and my daughter, you are my rock and I love you all very much. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

Marina Masame Naborisi

Marina Masame Naborisi
Manager
BEST Youth Academy
BEST Pacific Institute of Education

BEST Leadership Academy has opened my eyes to another side of the leadership world; the strategy, the understanding of theory and practice, whilst acknowledging and understanding the great value we bring as Pasifika.

Moe Alefaio

Moe Alefaio
Accounts Assistant
Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust

With the completion of the BEST Pasifika Leadership Programme, I have found it was a very useful tool to my Leadership journey. It is self-reflecting – which gives us an insight to hear our inner voices. It is also a great opportunity for us to learn from each other’s experiences in life and use that as a guide to how we lead in our leadership journey. At the same time, it builds and strengthens relationships within the Pasifika participants.

I have to take this opportunity to thank Beatrice Faumuinā,
Malia Macleod and Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh for their great support and help in getting me through this programme.

Patrick Foster

Patrick Foster
Account Manager
Fairfax Media

The educational journey with the BEST Pasifika Leadership team has been an awesome experience.

I have been blessed enough to be in the presence of former sports stars, Pacific people who are doing well in the corporate world, and strangers who would become more than friends, but more like family.

We learnt about leadership, management – the do’s and don’ts. But most importantly, we learnt about ourselves, who we are, what we can achieve if guided and armed with a little bit of knowledge, and the belief that we do matter. We do have voice and we can become something. Loved the journey, loved the people. Specifically Pacific.

Tavalea Feagaiga

Tavalea Feagaiga
Operations Manager
Operations Manager – Sky Tower
SKYCITY

The development and availability of a programme like the Pasifika Leadership Programme, in my opinion, has been long overdue. Working with a wonderfully weird combination of world class individuals, a Communication Consultant, Leadership Professor, and Poet/Scholar has given me an amazing insight to leadership from varying perspectives. When first introduced to the programme I was somewhat skeptical and wondered how each part of the programme was going to help me grow as a person, and a leader, to take that next step. However, after spending the last nine months with these amazing individuals I feel I have gained a life time worth of insight and tools to help enhance my abilities as a leader/manager. The additional benefits of this programme is the like-minded people in the cohort who I have learnt from over the nine months, the instant bond that was felt from the very first day is one like no other. Having similar individuals in a programme such as this enhances one’s experience and encourages you to reach for the endless possibilities out there. The moral support in class and outside of class has been amazing and one that I am very grateful to have.

Vilimaina Davu

Vilimaina Davu
Consultant
Coverstaff Recruitment

To be part of the BEST Leadership Program has benefited me tremendously, both professionally and personally.

I have grown as a person with a wealth of knowledge with the Leadership Programme. The support that BEST has provided throughout has been very helpful.

Loved every minute of it and if I have to do it again I will do it again.

Vita Sa Fia

Vita Sa Fia
Security Team Manager
SKYCITY Entertainment Group

Being a part of the BEST Pasifika Leadership Programme has been nothing but beneficial for me.

The BEST Leadership Programme has been a benefit to me professionally because I feel that I have been recognised and supported by my Managers in being given the opportunity to be a part of something special. It also lead me to attend the SKYCITY Leadership Training Session for Managers throughout the business “Power of One” which would have been something I wouldn’t have been a part of previously. It has open the door to see the bigger picture of how the business operates and I am a part of a group that are working on an incentive for our Customer Service since the training. I am truly thankful that I am working with others in the business that are based in the head office.

My Personal Goal from the very start was having the courage to stand up in front of my peers and talk, public speaking has always been an issue but with the Training offered by Roseann Gedye (Roxy JEDI) in “People Management” and Brad Jackson “Business Management” and incorporated with Pasifika Mat, with Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, has given me the confidence to speak up and also getting to know myself better. The fellowship shared with the cohorts on the Programme has been a blessing and added to the joy of being a participant. The Distinguished Speak Series was also a highlight because it was inspirational to hear from directors of a company and their humble beginnings to being a great leader.

I can’t say enough about what this Programme has to offer and what it meant for me, this has been expressed to other staff members who have enquired and I am sure this has had a positive flow on effect for them to follow.