Award winning nurse – “I bring my culture into my work”

Samoan senior nurse, Safaato’a Fereti, was recognised at the SunPix awards for her tireless work supporting the Pacific community.

Fereti received the Pacific Health and Well Being award, which is sponsored by Pasifika Futures, at the SunPix Awards ceremony held at Auckland’s Eden Park last week.

Born in Samoa and raised in Dunedin, Fereti has had a distinguished 30-year-career in nursing.

Fereti holds several leadership positions including the clinical nurse director of medicine at the Counties Manukau District Health Board, the Chair of the New Zealand Nursing Council and President of the Pan Pacific Nurses Association. If she was not busy enough, she is also studying towards a doctorate in health sciences.

In her acceptance speech, Fereti acknowledged the hard work nurses across the country have done this year, especially being in the frontline during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a focus on the vital work that nurses and midwives do daily despite the current circumstances – they respond when the community calls.

As a Pacific Islander, I bring my culture into my clinical practice but also the courage to be a leader within my role and within the space that I work in, to ensure I can make the connections with our communities and building those cultural networks.”

She also paid tribute to her parents – her father, Togia Farani, who passed away in 1994, and her mother, Faaula Emi, who travelled from Dunedin to be with her daughter as she received her award.

“Although we were brought up in Dunedin and there are not a lot of Pacific down there, our parents instilled in us Samoan values of alofa, tautua and fa’aaloalo.

They always said to us; remember your roots, remember your identity. Remember those who came before you and those who have helped you through your life and your journey.”

#pmafamily #pasifikafutures

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2020