“I chose Otago because it was close to where I grew up and I’d heard so many good things about the University and its student lifestyle. And the department was highly recommended to me by practising social workers.
“My studies opened my eyes and made me realise how harsh our world can be, and how social workers, alongside a massive team of other professionals, are forever trying to make it better.”
Tulua now works as a youth advisor with Southland Hospital’s Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Service. Her role involves working alongside youth who enter the service, making sure their needs are being met. She also travels throughout the lower South Island networking with the community, providing Pacifica cultural advice and organising focus groups and community events.
Outside of work, Tulua enjoys working with the Pacific Island Cultural and Advisory Trust.
“Myself and two other amazing ladies at the Trust recently organised a successful Pacific Island Youth Fono. We have also held a parents’ evening and are planning an organisations/schools event to discuss the challenges our local Pacific Islands’ youth face.
“We have also formed a Pasifica youth group that offers a safe space to come and hang out. If a young person needs help, I will be there.
“My time at Otago prepared me well for a challenging and rewarding career, and has opened doors to many different pathways that I want to explore, specifically in health.”