Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Leasi Papali'i Scanlan pictured with the High Commissioner of Fiji, H.E. Mr Filimone Waqabaca; the High Commissioner of Niue, H.E. Mr Fisa Igilisi Pihigia; the Minister of the Ministry of Pacific People, Hon. Aupito William Sio and the Toloa Program awardees
On Monday 12 April, the Samoa High Commissioner (HE Leasi Papali’i Scanlan) and Mrs Joyce Scanlan attended the Toloa Program Awards Celebration hosted by the Ministry of Pacific Peoples at its National Office in Wellington. The High Commissioners of Fiji and Niue also attended as well as representatives from other Pacific Island Countries. The Minister of the Ministry of Pacific Peoples (Hon Aupito William Sio) delivered the Keynote Address. Several Awards were presented under the three categories of; Toloa Community Fund, Toloa Kenese Fund and the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships Fund. Many Pasifika Awards recipients as well as families, friends and staff of the MPP attended and celebrated the acknowledgement of these special achievements. Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu was the Guest Speaker who spoke about her family and academic journey as well as the challenges faced in the specialised field of biomedical science. Dr Dianne referred to her interest to find a cure for cancer from a very young age, after losing a family member to this dreadful illness. From humble beginnings, this distinguished Pasifika Academic and Scientist congratulated the Award winners and reminded them of the need to work hard and to always remember their roots. Congratulations and thank you to the Chief Executive & Staff of the MPP as well as the Toloa National Programs Team for a successful evening.