Special Report by the Margin Team
On the 19th of June, 62 Pacifica girls and boys - from years 11 to 13 - had the privilege of attending Fono, consisting of students from St Cuthbert’s College and Dilworth.
Fono is an event that happens annually, wth the year 12 and 13 students organising the event. Their work is supported by various teachers from both schools.
The organisation of this event is vital. A major decision is the theme, as this is the core focus of the event. This year's theme was Tauhi Vā. Tauhi Vā is one of the four Tongan values. Tauhi means to care for or nurture, and Vā means the spaces between things or people. Combined, this means to nurture and care for the relationships between people. The theme took inspiration from the relationships between students from Dilworth and St Cuthbert’s. The Fono leadership team expressed their reasoning for this theme and their motive, being to connect and create relationships between both schools. This was further encouraged by the Fono leadership team. On the day, they had stated “Please use this opportunity to make connections (...) and remember this year's theme”.
Fono is made up of a series of speakers, this year having four.
Efeso Collins was the first speaker for Fono. Efeso Collins is a New Zealand politician, of Samoan heritage. During his speech, he focused on the importance of Tauhi Vā to him; This was his family, as they are an important relationship in his life.
The second speaker, Graham Tipene, emphasised the importance of Tauhi Vā. Graham Tipene is a Maori artist, and much of his artwork is displayed across Tamaki Makaurau. Graham Tipene's speech emphasised the importance of keeping and nurturing healthy relationships.
Sulu Fitzpatrick is of Samoan heritage and is a St. Cuthbert's Old Girl. She is a Netball player for the Northern Mystics, and was the third speaker. Sulu Fitzpatrick's story of losing herself encompassed the importance of Tauhi Vā.
The final speaker at Fono was Sekope Kepu. Sekope Kepu is an Australian rugby player and the captain for Moana Pasifika. His speech focused on the importance of Tauhi Vā in his career, especially as a captain. Throughout Sekope Kepu's speech, he displayed the value of Tauhi Vā in a team environment and as a leader.
One student particularly enjoyed the speakers, especially Efesso Collins' speech, stating, “I thought he was going to talk about politics and his job, (...) he talked about his sacred Tauhi Vā which was his family”.
The day ended with many activities. This allowed students from St. Cuthbert’s College and Dilworth to create inter-school relationships.
The main activities included a dance competition, followed by a workshop done with Action Education. One of the participating students from St. Cuthbert’s College stated, “It was something new to me, and it was a good experience”.
Many students appreciated the purpose of the day. In the words of another student, "It was something I really enjoyed and I would do it again".
Photos all courtesy of the STCC student photography team
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