PMA Knowledge Hub: 'Talanoa' a tool for mindfulness and understanding
Updates / Community, 24 Apr 24
Kokoi Aviu is a training facilitator in the Pacific Heartbeat Team for the New Zealand Heart Foundation. She is currently taking the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Knowledge Hub's inaugural micro-credential course, delivered in partnership with the University of Auckland (UoA). The course is aimed at equipping students with the knowledge and skillset to help improve outcomes for Pacific families.

Aviu is a strong advocate for good nutrition within Pacific families, helping others to make healthier choices. 

"What I find fulfilling in my line of work is hearing stories of change after we've connected with people; whether it be someone swapping out white rice for brown rice in their diet, or changing their dark blue-top milk to light blue.  

"It's those changes that remind me that we're helping people to become aware of their eating choices, which in turn impacts their health." 

With a passion for improving health outcomes within Pacific communities, Aviu reflects on some of her recent learnings from the course.  

"I can see how Talanoa can really help us to be mindful of our story, but also mindful when listening to someone else's story - especially in my line of work." 

She draws on the Pacific history lesson that was delivered by Seuta'afili Dr Patrick Thomsen as part of the course, highlighting the intersection between the past and current experiences of Pacific communities.  

"One thing that also stood out for me was the impact of colonisation and how, in a way, it has devalued our systems and the way that we do life. For our people who have migrated to New Zealand especially, there are a few barriers we face, including social barriers like housing.  

"Our job is to be able to identify what these barriers are, working together as a community to support each other."