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Three Pacific winners AUT/PIMA media scholarship

Three Pacific winners of AUT/PIMA media scholarships

Source -- AUT School of Communication Studies, 12/2/04

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AUCKLAND (AUT/Pacific Media Watch): Two former Fiji journalists and a Tongan community volunteer have been awarded the AUT/PIMA Pacific Communication Scholarships 2003 and will take up their studies at Auckland University of Technology this year.

Mere Lomaloma Elliot, project manager for the Pasifika Festival 2004, has been awarded a scholarship for the Masters degree in Communication Studies.

Elliot left Fiji after an 11-year career in commercial radio and five years in television, anchoring the weekend news on Fiji Television. She is also on the National Pacific Radio Trust Board in NZ and producer of the Fijian community radio programme on 531pi in Auckland.

Christine Gounder, a former Fiji Daily Post reporter and business editor and a graduate of the University of the South Pacific journalism programme, has also been awarded a Masters degree study scholarship.

A former senior editor of Wansolwara newspaper, she has also been a communications officer for the Fiji Women¹s Rights Movement (FWRM) and the USP Book Centre.

In the Bachelor of Communication Studies programme, Hila¹atu Tuli has won a scholarship for the three-year course and hopes to develop her broadcasting skills.

A banking official, she has tutored the Marcellin College Tongan Culture Group and is a volunteer news reader on 531pi.

The awards are sponsored and organised by the AUT School of Communication Studies and Community Partnership Office with the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) for New Zealand-resident Pacific Islanders seeking media qualifications.

Announcing the winners, Associate Professor Barry King, Head of the School of Communication Studies, said: "The scholarships signify the commitment of AUT in nurturing Pasifika media professionals and the growth of a significant Pacific Islander presence in the media business."

He added that AUT was pleased about the consolidation of the scholarships and he looked forward to the continuing partnership with PIMA.

PIMA chairman Kalafi Moala said he was grateful to AUT for offering the scholarships.

"It is a major contribution to Pacific Island journalism. I am sure that in a few short years we will see the impact these trained media people will make in our Pacific Island communities in New Zealand."

This is the second year of the awards.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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