Paralyzed from birth, she wrote an award-winning book using a computer head pointer

Nathalie Heirani Salmon-Hudry is a writer whose inspiring work is bringing about positive change for people with disabilities in her native French Polynesia. She is the author of the moving autobiographical tale “Je suis née MORTE” (meaning “I was born DEAD” or “I was stillborn”) that she wrote using a computer head pointer. The book deals with “how you develop, how you grow up, how you … Continue reading Paralyzed from birth, she wrote an award-winning book using a computer head pointer

A poet and a teacher from Tonga

One of the longest serving staff of the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, Konai Helu Thaman is currently Professor of Pacific Education and Culture and was the UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture from 1998-2016. Ms Thaman was born and raised in Tonga where she received her primary and secondary education. She studied at the University of Auckland (BA in Geography), Auckland … Continue reading A poet and a teacher from Tonga

Mrs Afamasaga, influential teacher from Samoa

Seventy-year-old Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga has played an instrumental role in the education sector in her native Samoa for over 40 years. Ms Afamasaga started her career as a teacher, then went on to become a teacher trainer. In 1984, she was appointed Principal of Western Samoa Teachers College, a position she held for thirteen years. When the college merged with the National University of Samoa … Continue reading Mrs Afamasaga, influential teacher from Samoa

How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

Pacific islands are suffering from regular epidemics of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. In a decade-long dance around our Ocean, these viruses continually migrate to countries where the population has lost its immunity… But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done. Since the arrival of the Zika Virus, probably imported from African soccer players during the Beach Soccer World Cup of 2013 in Tahiti, … Continue reading How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

Say welcome to Heke, our new mascot!

This shy octopus is Heke, our new mascot. Everybody say hi! His name comes from the Rapa Nui word for “octopus”, similar to fe’e, feke or ‘eke in other Polynesian langage. And Heke sounded pretty good, so we kept it! Heke is pretty cute, but also very sporty and quite the model. Below you can see him on an outrigger, as an All Black rugby player, … Continue reading Say welcome to Heke, our new mascot!

The first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia

Nadine Pidjot made history this May when she became the first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia. Following a successful career as a public servant for the Government of New Caledonia, the French High Commission in New Caledonia, and the French Embassy in Australia, she successfully created her own consulting company and is highly regarded among both Kanak and non-Kanak communities. During … Continue reading The first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia

“It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

Reverend Sereima Lomaloma is an advocate for gender equality and the elimination of violence against women and children in Fiji and the Pacific, advocating through the Anglican church, House of Sarah and and other faith-based organisations since the early 2000s. For this portrait, she told the SPC that “It’s time for the church to also speak out against the injustices in society, violence in all … Continue reading “It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

Kea Trader: an ecological catastrophe avoided in New Caledonia

You certainly remember how the container ship Kea Trader  ran aground the Durand reef, South-East of New Caledonia, almost a month ago. The spectacular photos of the huge ship full quill on the coral were seen all across the Pacific. At the time, the local government and French armed forces mobilized a full anti-pollution task force. They feared a massive spill in this unique coral ecosystem. But … Continue reading Kea Trader: an ecological catastrophe avoided in New Caledonia

This street artist from New Zealand makes giant murals of endemic birds

His name is Phat1, aka Charles Williams. He is a street-artist from New Zealand, where he started as a graffiti rebel spraying the walls of Auckland. But he got married (with another street artist, Lady Diva), got four children and now uses his talents for the promotion of indigenous culture and young artists. He is also a huge indigenous birds geek and lover. We met … Continue reading This street artist from New Zealand makes giant murals of endemic birds

She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu

Mary is the coordinator and a founding member of Mamma’s Laef, a social enterprise run by six ni-Vanuatu women in Port Vila. Mamma’s Laef sew washable sanitary pads that they distribute to communities across Vanuatu, where women often do not have access to menstrual hygiene management products, instead using old cloth or other unreliable and unhygienic substitutes and missing days of work and school as … Continue reading She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu