Solomon Islands intern soaks up New Zealand experience

posted: 7:30 pm - 26th January 2020
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Life is unpredictable at the best of times, but Pauline Suvevaveni Dokekana (pictured) is open to the unexpected and determined to make the most of opportunities presented to her.    

Stemming from the provinces of Malaita and Choiseul in the Solomon Islands, Pauline is a New Zealand Aid Scholarship recipient, who joins the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) team as part of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Internship Programme.

Currently studying a Bachelor of Humanities and Social Science, majoring in International Relations and Political Studies at Victoria University, Pauline successfully applied for the PCF Internship Programme, for which MPP is a host organisation.

Pauline says it is a huge blessing to be able to study in Aotearoa, and to be on a path leading to MPP.  

“The skills and knowledge I have gained from this experience as well as the internship itself will establish a foundation for me to find a great career in the political and social areas back home,” Pauline says.

Although she is unsure of exactly what type of career she will pursue, Pauline believes her upbringing, and now the experiences gained, and opportunities received from her scholarship and internship will put her in good stead for whatever career she chooses.

“I believe life is unpredictable and we will oddly end up in professions we never contemplate at an early stage,” Pauline says.

“However, my upbringing has mould me to have compassion, understanding, acceptance, love and accountability.

“I want to be able to make change and see constructive results of my contribution, especially in a developing and striving country like the Solomon Islands, where my inputs will be effective.

“A profession in the political, justice or social services sectors will suit my career aspirations fine.”

Her experience at MPP has benefited her in many ways, she continues.

Interning alongside the Ministry’s Regional Partnership Team in the Central office, Pauline’s tasks have been focused on the Lalanga Fou goals, compiling reports, creating database on attending meetings with the community.

“It has helped me develop great workplace skills such as punctuality, how to make effective work contributions, completing tasks on time, interacting with co-workers and showing respect for senior staff.”   

As a result of her internship, Pauline has developed adaptability, professionalism, and broadened her knowledge of Pacific culture, language and identity, and the importance of cultivating it.

Pauline says there are many memorable highlights of her time so far at MPP but working alongside powerful Pacific women who make things happen when they set their minds to it is one that sticks out.

Morning teas and the friends she has made at the Ministry are some others.

“Finally, seeing how MPP has contributed to the community and the hard work they’ve put in to make change is the best highlight of all.”

Pauline is interning at the Ministry until mid-February, before returning to university in March.