12593612_10206244476423452_4705446341229148632_o-300x200The Catalyst4Change Conference exceeded all expectations – it was a celebration of Pacific culture, ingenuity and relationships. The keynote speakers rose to the task set by the TAHA team.The

Setting the scene, Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Hon Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, spoke on the achievements and visions of their respective governments moving forward with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Dr Rufina Latu from WHO (PNG office) spoke on the development and principles of the SDGs as it relates to Pacific countries.    

olicy and Strategy Catalysts for change were then addressed by three NZ parliamentarians in Metiria Turei (co-leader of the Green Party), Jenny Salesa (Labour Party) and Raewyn Bhana (Maori Party). They all spoke passionately on the challenges that face Pacific families in Aotearoa and how they would formulate policy that acknowledges Pacific cultures and aspirations for the future.

One of the participants, Dr Maake Tupou and O&G specialist from Tonga, lamented that it was the best conference he has ever attended. “It was the best conference

Dr Rufina Latu of WHO and Dr Gilbert Hiawalyer of UNFPA were moved by the presentations. “The theme, the catalysts and the speakers addressed the fundamentals of Pacific Health and how the SDGs can be tackled from a Pacific perspective,” they commented. will benefit It was the best conference

One of the participants from Tuvalu said that her bosses back home would have enjoyed the conference as much as she did.

PSRH is proud of this collaboration with TAHA to host the conference.

Funders for the event were Counties Manukau and a host of Pacific charities and institutions. One of the small sponsors is Catherine Poutasi of Integrity Professionals. “We are looking for funds ourselves to implement our charitable initiatives and yet we are contributing in a small way as we believe in the goodness you are doing for our communities,” she said.

The conference was a huge success. Mrs Hilda Faasalele, Chief Advisor Pacific at the Ministry of Health summed it up nicely in an email: “Congratulations on a really informative/thought-provoking and well-run conference. I enjoyed the range and calibre of speakers you had. You all demonstrated great leadership throughout the 2 days. It was one of the best conferences that I’ve attended recently in the content and scope of coverage.  As a Pacific conference, it was amazing – very level and non-hierarchical…such a relief!”

The PSRH and TAHA teams are looking forward to producing some key recommendations for the relevant sectors as we journey together in achieving SDGs for our Pacific families.