25 August 2016: Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita officially opens PMA Conference

unnamed (1)Partnerships will be celebrated this week with the 20th anniversary conference, marking a successful Pasifika Medical Association journey, from 1996 to 2016, which will be opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita of Tonga.

The conference will provide a forum for Pacific health professionals, medical practitioners, community workers and stakeholders, to discuss NZ and Pacific regional issues that influence the health and wellbeing of Pacific families, with an emphasis on leadership.

Pasifika Medical Association Chief Executive Mrs Debbie Sorensen says this will be the best conference ever.

“For the last 20 years, the Pasifika Medical Association has made a positive difference and played a major role in shaping the health landscape by leading the develppment of a Pacific health workforce, create career pathways for Pasifika students and improve the health and wellbeing of communities in NZ and across the Pacific.”

“The 20th Anniversary is a great achievement for our organisation and its an exciting milestone for all our members and partners as a step forward in the positive relationship PMA has forged with many organisations to provide a strong voice on issues that impact on Pacific health and wellbeing.”

One important feature of the conference is the close connection between the New Zealand Pacific medical community and the Pacific region.

“Building and strengthening relationships are at the core of the way PMA is working and the 20 year celebration is testament to that.”

“These linkages are crucial to improving health in the wider Pacific region as well as improving health in the Pacific population living in New Zealand.”

“Health problems continue to be a challenge in the Pacific and for our communities in NZ and we need to work together to discuss these issues and come up with realistic solutions.”

Keynote speaker Dr Colin Tukuitonga Director General, Secretariat Pacific Community will address delegates about the 20 years of progression in Pacific Health and the changing landscape of the medical industry.

Perspectives on Pacific leadership will be a main agenda item.

Mrs Sorensen says that it is an honour to celebrate and be part of PMA’s 20th year Anniversary and they look forward to welcoming new members and partner organisations and highly respected health leaders from all over the Pacific and providing the opportunity to share their experience and insights with participants.

“This is an incredible example of what can be achieved through true partnerships. It shows what can happen when people get around a table and make the effort to understand and listen to their communities.”

“There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to seeing PMA expand its membership and connect with other agencies and organisations to collaborate  together for the benefit of our Pacific peoples.”