Tua | Ōtara

“I think an experience would be around my employment. So, working in Ōtara, you come across people from all walks of life, going through different struggles.

Either it’s financially, mentally, physically, and also trying to navigate them to certain services that can help provide some help for them. I haven’t really worked outside of the area, as such, but I guess in this area alone, being a multicultural area, I guess every day is a different story. But what I’ve learned is that there are people out there struggling, and there are different levels of struggle. People tend to focus more on the financial side, but there are a lot of people out there that struggle within their own relationships, like with their partner, relationship with their kids. I met a father here, who was struggling to connect with their son who was a teenager, young adult, because he was absent during his teens. 

A lot more empathy for people that are going through these certain struggles. Different ways of approaching a situation, but a lot of it is empathy, it’s being able to, if I don’t already know how to, empathise with someone, it’s a new feeling for me. 

I grew up in Ōtara. So, I’m an Ōtara boy. I was born in Samoa. Our family came here when I was about four. So I’ve grown up in Ōtara. Walked around Ōtara. Lived in Ōtara. Went to school in Ōtara, and a lot of my background is hospitality. So, I did work in a lot of restaurants, a lot of bars. I used to own a nightclub in the city, as of last year, and this year I’ve always been involved in youth work, so I guess I’ve kind of gone full circle and have come back to an area that I’ve grown up in to try and make an impact on the lives of people here.”

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