Many doors have opened for Janelle Fonokimoana Augsburg (pictured) since she was awarded the Auckland Council Community Star category as part of the 2019 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA).
Facilitated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), the awards celebrate success and reward outstanding achievement by the young people of Pacific Aotearoa.
Since the launch of PMPYA in 2010, the awards have helped to enhance the journey for extraordinary individuals who have progressed into careers ranging from Engineers and Scientists to Chief Executives, Lawyers, international Artists, and Academics to name a few.
For former Baradene College student, and Auckland University Law and Arts graduate (double majoring in Pacific Studies and Politics and International Relations), her Community Star award opened a door to working in the public sector.
Of Tongan descent, Janelle has grown up watching her mum and nana serve the Pacific community and has always strived to do so herself.
Her role as an Advisor with the MPP Regional Partnerships Team allows her to do that, ensuring the work she does has the Pacific community at the heart of it all.
Growing up in South Auckland, Janelle has always been involved in her community, volunteering at Edmund Rice Camps in high school and on the committee as Vice Chairperson and Policy Officer.
More recently she worked with My Story under South Seas Healthcare Trust.
Her journey with MPP has been a learning curve, seeing how the Ministry works closely with the communities of Pacific Aotearoa, implementing initiatives to benefit Pacific people, and help them thrive using the guidelines of the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou report.
The first in her family to attend Law school, Janelle was admitted to the bar at Auckland High Court last November.
Being recognised for her efforts with the PMPYA in 2019 has assisted her with creating a successful and purposeful future.
In New Zealand, Pacific young people are a fast growing and diverse group with over 50 percent aged younger than 25 years old.
Pacific young people who are making a positive impact on society in their chosen field of study, work, or creativity and who are aged between 17 and 24, are encouraged apply for the 2021 PMPYA.
Applications are now open and close midday on July 14. The 2021 PMPYA awards ceremony is on 31 August, 2021.