Hero photograph
Sofia Tuliau-Walker
Photo by Alan Voyce

Fia Fia Night

Julie Kleinpaste —

We held our annual Burnside High School Fia Fia Night on Thursday November 28.

This is a special awards evening to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our Pasifika Year 9-13 students, including the opportunity to farewell the Year 13 Leavers. The students are nominated by staff in the various award categories for academic, sporting, leadership, consistent effort and contribution to Arts and Culture. Many students received awards for a number of these categories!

Our Year 13 Pasifika leaders, Ofa Pulueki (Head Boy), Nitimai Cakaunavita and Rosebud Fifita were our hosts for the evening and the entertaining and inspiring guest speaker was Mr Sala Tiatia, a local Youth Educator.

Pasifika Families, staff and guests from our school and the wider community attended and we were again supported by our brilliant staff and students, especially Nathan Sandes, Amanda Keith, Kristie Hanley in the preparation and serving of the supper. They were assisted by Sue Dixon (Counselling) Dylan Merkin (student) and Pasifika parents, Sharon Makanuie, Lili Mosa’ati, Filiga Samuelu and Katie Fifita. This is a massive undertaking and we are eternally grateful to these wonderful people for this and their key role in making this such a successful evening. On the menu were a variety of delicious, authentic Pasifika dishes from Tonga, Samoa and Niue to name just a few.

We also announced the Pasifika Leaders for 2020. These students are chosen for their leadership qualities and their desire to promote the Pasifika culture in our school. These are Melody Ripley, Rosa Samuelu, Andrea Maro, Laiman Tuilagi, Mahina Kanavatoa, Stephen Mosa’ati and Lanita Singh.

There were wonderful performances throughout the evening with a musical item from the Mosa’ati Family and the Polyfest Group, Wesley Fifita and Sofia Tuliau-Walker performing original songs written by Greg Galovale.

Two students were recognised for special awards. Sofia Tuliau-Walker received the Burnside High School Pasifika Cup for Academic Achievement. Sofia has achieved Excellence in a variety of subjects such as English, Geography, Biology, Mathematics and Outdoor Pursuits. She has been awarded a Maori Entrance Scholarship to Otago University to study Arts and Science. The recipient of the second award, the Burnside High School Pasifika Student of the Year for Service, is Rosebud Fifita. Rosebud has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to the Burnside Pasifika School Community, inspiring other students for the past three years and has been fully committed to leading the Polyfest Group.