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Samoan Change Makers Video Series Launched

APIA, SAMOA – 26 JUNE 2023: Australia’s Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs. Linda Hurley were pleased to launch the latest season of a video series highlighting remarkable Samoans making significant impacts in their fields.

The series, called ‘Change Makers’, features a diverse group of Samoans, including Mata’afa Fa’atino Utumapu, a disability advocate and President of Nuanua o le Alofa; Lagi Keresoma, a veteran journalist and President of the Journalists Association of Samoa; and Vaimo’oi’a Ripley, a sailing athlete with hopes of making it to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In his remarks to launch the series, the Governor-General said: “It is through collaboration that we can truly become change-makers, transcending boundaries, and making a lasting impact on the world around us. As we honour the change-makers amongst us, let us remember that the power to affect change resides in each of us.”

Gov with Aust staff
Gov with Aust staff

The Governor General pictured with DFAT staff Mr. Greg Furness and Mr. Tuileva Tuileva (left) and Australia Awards alumni Mr. Silipa.

The Governor-General also spoke about our collective efforts to respond to climate change and acknowledged the Australia Awards climate alumni in attendance who are also change makers in this critical space.  He commended them on their leadership in advocating for sustainable practices, developing innovative solutions, and inspiring others to make meaningful contributions to protecting the Blue Pacific region and beyond.

The Governor-General also spoke about the importance of looking to traditional knowledge for solutions to address the profound challenges of today, reminding everyone of their capacity to make meaningful change in their everyday lives.

The ‘Change Makers’ video series is a co-production between the Australian-funded Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) and SamoaGEM, with content makers in both Samoa and Australia collaborating to tell the stories of influential Samoans.

The video series will be available to watch on local free-to-air television.

PACMAS is managed by ABC International Development and supports the development of a diverse, independent and professional Pacific media sector through training, sharing media expertise and providing technical and program support.