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Combining STEM with a sense of adventure

Combining STEM with a sense of adventure

  • 17 May 2021
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A sense of adventure and passion for the outdoors has led Amelia Kirisome (pictured) down the road to becoming a Licenced Cadastral Surveyor. 

Of Samoan descent, 27-year-old Amelia from Wainuiomata recently received a Toloa Tertiary Scholarship to assist with her Surveying studies at the University of Otago.   

Part of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa Programme, Toloa Tertiary Scholarships supports Pacific students to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The scholarship covers tertiary tuition fees and compulsory course related fees. 

It it is an honour to receive the scholarship as it will help to relieve the financial burden which comes with a high student loan, says Amelia, who is now in her fourth and final year of studies.   

“It has also connected me with the Pacific STEM community, while providing a sense of pride for myself and my family,” she adds.   

An adventurous person who enjoys being outside in the natural environment, Amelia says she was naturally attracted to studying Surveying - a land and water-based science. 

“Surveying is a broad natured degree involving Maths, Land Law, Planning, Computer Science, Design and more. 

“I am due to finish my degree this year and the I am hoping to work towards becoming a Licenced Cadastral Surveyor. 

“Hydrographic Surveying is also an interest of mine, and one day I hope to work at sea.” 

Surveying is an area where Pacific people are underrepresented, and Amelia is keen to encourage more Pasifika, particularly women, to study and work in the field. 

More Pacific people in the workplace means more diversity and unique perspectives being brought to the table, she adds. 

“It would be great to see Pasifika people achieving in all areas of work. 

“Lifting educational and employment outcomes improves Pacific health and outcomes,” she says.