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Urale kick offs sPACIFICally Pacific 5 Experience

Film-maker Sima Urale to kick off sPACIFICally Pacific 5 Experience

Sima Urale, the first recipient of the Fulbright Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers residency at the University of Hawaii and director of a number of Pacific short films will kick off the sPACIFICally PACIFIC 5 Experience at the Grand Chancellor Hotel on Wednesday 6 April, 2005, with a keynote speech on her career at 10am.

Aimed at Pacific Island secondary school students from all over Canterbury, the Expo was started by the Ministry of Education five years ago to pathway Pacific Island students into tertiary studies and business, by showing them varied career paths.

Schools have sent Pacific Island students to the Experience over the years to be inspired by a wide variety of speakers from different walks of life.

This year, Sima Urale, who hails from one of Wellington’s most creative Samoan families – her brother King Kapisi being one of the pioneers of Pacific hip hop – will also be joined by national children’s television presenter and former Hillmorton High School student, Jason Fa’afoi. Jason will speak about his chosen career path and the influences that led him to it.

Agencies such as the Canterbury Development Corporation, a major sponsor of the event, the Christchurch City Council, New Zealand Police, Government departments, and various tertiary institutions will be at the Careers Expo to talk to young people about career options available in their organisations.

Organisers Fuetanoa Kose Seinafo of the Ministry of Education and Tai Sila, of the Ministry of Social Development, said sPACIFICally PACIFIC was aimed at Pacific Island students because they made up a large part of New Zealand’s negative education statistics, and Pacific Island educators and Government and community agencies were determined to work with Pacific Island families and schools to turn this around. “In Canterbury, for example, we have one of the biggest ageing populations in New Zealand, yet Canterbury’s Pacific Island people have among the youngest average age per head of population. “This means that in 20 to 30 years time, our Pacific Island young people will be a major slice of Canterbury’s working population. It’s not just an investment in their future, but a major investment for Christchurch as a whole, that we encourage them into tertiary education,” Miss Sila said.

The SPACIFIC Expo Experience template has proven so successful in putting Pacific Island secondary school students into tertiary education in Canterbury that it has been snatched up in other centres such as Wellington, Hamilton, Napier and Auckland.

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