Success in Pacific Education Grant recipients 2020


Rebecca Fa’alologo

Rebecca Faalologo finalRebecca team

Kew Pacific Island Early Learning Centre, Invercargill

Talofa lava, Kam na mauri, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, , Mālō e lelei, Kia Orana, Noa’ia, Malo ni and warm Pasifika Greetings.

My name is Rebecca Fa’alologo and I am the centre supervisor of Kew Pacific Island Early Learning Centre in Invercargill. I lead a strong and passionate team of teachers Rosie Teuauaa, Valessa Kaifoto, Mere Tauvoli, Mariana Bradshaw, Harieta Eno, Wendy Murphy and Annette Mcdonald. We are a Pacific Island Early Learning Centre owned and governed by the Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust here in Invercargill. Our philosophy and learning priorities for our tamaiti focus strongly on embracing Pasifika language, culture and identity and improving outcomes for Pasifika learners and communities.

The inquiry that I will lead in collaboration with my team is around ‘Strengthening pathways to school’. This inquiry project will look at bridging the gap between ECE and Primary Education, continuity in strong learner identity throughout the transition process and the potential of increasing more positive outcomes for Pacific learners if engaged in a quality transition to school programme. We will work closely with our fanau and wider Pasifika community to ensure this inquiry is responsive to their needs.

Siālele Alipia


Marlborough Girls’ College, Blenheim

Tālofa lava. O lo’u igoa o Siālele Mauga Alipia.  O lo’u Tinā e sau mai le nu’u o Levī i Saleimoa, ae o lo’u Tamā e sau mai le nu’u lea o Lotofagā i Safata. Sa ou fanau i Aukilani, ma o lo’u olaga ‘ā’oga ma la’u galuega fa’afaiāoga sa fai fo’i i lenei aai.  Warm Pasifika greetings. My name is Siālele Mauga Alipia. I am married to Dempsey Alipia, who hails from Leulumoega Tuai in Samoa. We have four children - Joseph, Jeasinah, Julianah and Jonah. I was born and raised in Auckland and now live in the sunniest place in New Zealand. Top of the South Island; Blenheim Marlborough. I am an English teacher at Marlborough Girls’ College.

My photo is of my whānau class; 13ALIW Measina o Tahi Marawa. ‘Treasures of the Pacific Ocean’. It is a combination of Samoan, Tongan and Kiribati language as is the makeup of my whānau class. My girls named our class which gave them pride but foremost, agency in the classroom. They are the reason for this opportunity from Core Education to assist in my inquiry. Many of our Pasifika students are from first migrant families to New Zealand. My inquiry is based on: ‘Best teacher practice that recognises the importance of cultural locatedness in education settings to support Pasifika students and their academic achievement.’ Our Pasifika students thrive in their culture outside of the classroom, yet it can be a different story in the classroom. Especially if they are the only Pasifika student. I believe in equity in the classroom and look forward to collaborating with the pillars of influence/champions of our Pasifika learners. Like our Whakataukī o te Kura Te Kāreti Kōhine o Wairau – ‘Mā te kahukura ka rere te manu’ ‘Adorn the birds with feathers so that it may fly.’

Jeanne Pau’uvale Teisina and Meleane Lolohea Pauuvale


Akoteu Kato Kakala, Auckland

Malo e lelei pe a malo ‘a ‘etau to e ma’u ‘a e ‘ahoni, Talofa lava, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakalofa lahi atu, Kia orana, Malo Ni and warm Pasifika greetings.

Ko Jeanne Teisina mo Meleane Lolohea Pauuvale ho ma hingoa . Meleane is married to the late Sifa Pau’uvale of Hofoa with four children and thirteen makapuna. Jeanne is married to Mosese Teisina of Ha’ano with three daughters Seinisia, Meleane and Akosita. We were born in the island of Vava’u in the friendly Islands of Tonga and now residing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We both work at Akoteu Kato Kakala, a Tongan Language Nest in South Auckland - Otara. Akoteu Kato Kakala was built on the aspirations of revitalisation and maintenance of cultural language and heritage for our whanau and tamariki born in Aotearoa NZ. Akoteu Kato Kakala began as a playgroup in Māngere 22 years ago started by Meleane Pau’uvale then we shifted to Otara to start as a licensed ECE centre in 2006. We are both early childhood teachers who are highly involved in Tongan/ Pasifika early childhood education in Auckland. We have a strong belief in the importance of revitalising language and culture for our Tongan/ Pasifika children in NZ.

Our project is titled Falehanga – empowering the collective through building AKO (teaching and learning) benefitting educators and learners within the context of AKOTEU TONGA (Tongan ECE). The aspirations to further localise Te Whariki 2017 using the falehanga concept and how that translate into practice within Akoteu context - to ensure that we are providing meaningful learning experiences for our children, kainga or families, faiako – educators/teachers and pule – leaders.

'Ana Pahulu and Joanne Al-Rubaie

AnaJoanneSancta Maria College, Auckland

‘Ana Pahulu
I was born and raised in Tonga and migrated to New Zealand in 2000. I grew up in an environment where education is highly valued, and parents’ expectations and aspirations for their children are extremely high, although families often lack the skills and resources to support their children to fulfil their academic potential. I am intrigued by why Pasifika learners continue to be over-represented in the underachievement statistics, and how can I effectively change my practice to improve outcomes for my Pasifika learners.

Our inquiry collaboration started because we wanted to explore how we can shift our mind-set and conceptualise our practice through a Tongan lens. Why Tongan? Because a Tongan mentoring experiment has started at our school, and we want the language and cultural knowledge valued in that programme to filter out into our classrooms as well. We also want this work to act as a template for developing culturally aware practices for other Pasifika cultures. We ask ourselves- How can we better align our pedagogical approach with the needs and aspirations of our Pasifika learners, families and communities? This inquiry is a quest to finding answers. It is a journey in shifting mind-sets and attempting to use a different lens as a vehicle to teaching the curriculum in the hope that it will translate to improved academic outcomes for our Pasifika learners.

Joanne Al-Rubaie

I have a passion to see all students use their talents and discover new ones that will benefit them on their life-long journey. I believe that culture identifies a person and that for a student to feel part of their culture they need to understand it and its history. I witnessed the transformation of the Welsh language during 90s and 00s and saw how students felt a pride in belonging. I have been teaching for 25 years, 9 in New Zealand, having come from Wales in 2011. My main subject is Digital Technologies and Dean of Year 13 students.