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Opinion

Helping Pacific people reach their goals

Thursday 11 August 2022 | Written by Sian Solomon | Published in Local, National

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Helping Pacific people reach their goals
Dr Josephine Aumea Herman. Photo: PACIFIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION/22080920

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) in New Zealand will be holding its third annual Charity Ball event next month, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

The event is the primary fundraiser for the PMA’s Education Fund which was established back in 2018 and supports Pacific students and health care professionals, including Cook Islanders, in their pursuit of a career in health through the provision of scholarships.

Since 2018, the PMA has awarded over $500,000 in scholarships to 71 Pacific tertiary and secondary students across the region. 

Cook Islander Dr Josephine Aumea Herman, the first recipient of the inaugural Sir Terepai Tuamure Maoate International Study Award back in 2018, said the scholarship helped support her during her time as the Secretary of Health in the Cook Islands.

“The award came at a time when I really appreciated the support from PMA because without the award, it would’ve been more difficult for me to carry out my role,” said Herman, who is also the Etu Pasifika Auckland board director and director of Pacific Health at Waitematā District Health Board in New Zealand.

“At the time I was also completing my postdoctoral studies at the University of Auckland, and the timing of this award was just a very pleasant surprise and highly acknowledged.

“It was a huge privilege and honour to receive this and I continue to contribute to improving health outcomes … this award will continue to support me to do better work; more work for our people.”

In addition to raising funds, the upcoming “crown jewel” event which will be a glamour event with great food and entertainment, will also be an occasion for those in the health and medical profession to reconnect and reflect on their work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It will also allow those who attend the event an opportunity to bid on some amazing items during a live auction event where items have been generously donated by various organisations and individuals supporting PMA, and the Education Fund.  

The PMA Charity Ball is scheduled to take place on September 6, at Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.