World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Kiribati to Australia via Griffith

Kiribati to Australia via Griffith

Graduating with a university degree is a great milestone for anyone. But it is even greater for someone who does it after they have left their home for a foreign country, away from their communal support.

Graduating this December were 25 students from the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Amongst them were Bachelor of Nursing students Tamwia Bootii and Koriri Enari.

Kiribati is a three hour flight north from Fiji. The country comprises 32 low-lying atolls and one raised coral island. On average, the land is just two metres above sea level. As a result, Kiribati is under major threat of rising sea levels due to climate change.

Tamwia and Koriri know only too well the issues that their country is facing. Along with climate change, rapid population growth and youth unemployment are also a challenge for the country’s people. But as two out of 82 successful applicants to the Griffith Nursing program (out of a total 200 who applied), Tamwia and Koriri have been very grateful for the chance to come to Australia on full scholarships funded by the Australian Government.

The program involves training I-Kiribati so they gain internationally-recognised qualifications and become more competitive in the international labour market. “Employment opportunities are pretty scarce where I come from,” says Tamwia. “But when I heard about the program I knew it would be a good opportunity to start a career and also benefit my family back home. My mum and dad were not keen at first as they knew how much they would miss me but they also knew that it was an offer not to be refused. I am hoping that I may be able to eventually help my younger brother to get out here as well.”

“It was tough when I first arrived in Australia as I struggled with the language,” says Koriri, another high achieving i-Kiribati who turned down a scholarship to Fiji National University in order to attend Griffith. “Learning complex nursing technicalities in a foreign language was a challenge to me, but I got through. I have loved the hospital placements we have been given on the degree, and loved meeting patients from all different cultures and backgrounds. Now I am really keen to stay in the Logan area and look for work as a surgical nurse.” Meanwhile Tamwia says he is interested in looking for intensive care nursing positions in either a rural or remote area. “I want to experience first-hand, the conditions in a region such as Australia’s outback.“These 25 I-Kiribati youth are now ready to graduate and enter the workforce – a remarkable journey and achievement from their arrival date in Brisbane when they experienced lifts, escalators, air conditioning and expressways for the very first time!”said Rebecca Keogh, Manager of the International Business Development Unit at Griffith. For more information please visit


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news