Sharing knowledge is paramount for organisation

Mindful of the need to offer learning opportunities for Pacific people and students, the Pacific Team of Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards readily take part in the Pacific Cooperation Foundation Summer Internship initiative

For the past two years, the Pacific Team, led by Abel Smith and Pulotu Bruce Levi, have put their hand up to be a host organisation for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) New Zealand Pacific Scholarship recipients, selected for the 10-week Summer Internship.

For the 2017-18 Summer Internship period, which started in November, the Pacific Team is hosting three interns.

These students are Margaret Mase – an AUT Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) student, from Papua New Guinea;

Taiala Fulivai, a Victoria University student from Tonga completing her Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance; and Charles Vatopu from the Solomon Islands, who is completing a Bachelor of Business Analysis (Accounting) at the University of Waikato.

Clinical Nurse Director- Pacific Health/Workforce for ADHB and WDHB Abel Smith says the organisation prides itself on being centres of training and learning for students of health care and other careers associated with the health care industry.

“As an organisation we are mindful of the need to offer learning opportunities for Pacific people/students as they are the future Pacific workforce of tomorrow.” Abel says.

“We view this opportunity to host interns as a privilege as it allows us to showcase to the students Pacific best practice care.”

After completing their studies, the Summer Interns will return to their respective home country, hopefully with the rich learning gained as part of their internship placement, which will ideally contribute to their country’s health care system, Abel says.

Supported by MFAT, the Summer Internship initiative allows the Pacific Team to network with the interns, while also acknowledging they will be the future workforce leaders in their home countries.

From an intern’s perspective, the Pacific Team hopes the learning and placement opportunity offers them an avenue to gain an insight into NZ’s health care system, Abel explains.

“Their placements are focussed on Pacific health care and Pacific health care systems and so this affords them an opportunity to network and connect with Pacific people in the health workforce and learn from staff with valuable experience in the area of Pacific health and cultural care.

“It is also envisaged the interns will gain some job ready skills and attitudes to help them navigate their places in the workforce when they return to their home country.”

During their internship, the NZ Scholars will participate in programmes and activities that showcase and highlight Pacific cultures, health care and workforce development.

Interns have been assigned to work with three Pacific managers and will undertake projects targeting workforce, finance and management.

Once they complete their projects, the Pacific Team will implement their findings to progress the on-going work of Pacific health care.

During the first three weeks of the internship, the scholars have been through an orientation, and have participated in all of the activities planned for Pacific week at ADHB and WDHB.

“Pacific week is an annual event in our organisation calendar and it is a week where we showcase and celebrate Pacific culture and care,” Abel says.

“The celebration highlights our different languages, dances, art, food, values, norms, beliefs among other things with the aim of helping all our work colleagues gain some insight and understanding of Pacific people, our health and cultural needs and best practice required for our health care.”

The 2017-18 Summer Internship ends on February 16, 2018.