Reflecting on her journey, she shared, "What inspired me to choose nursing was taking care of my grandmothers, Tainoino Vaotuua and Fuarosa Tanielu, at home when they became ill." Her dedication to caring for her grandmothers was a pivotal moment in her life.
"Although my grandmothers have now both passed on, I will always remember the care and compassion the district nurses' team, support workers, and hospital staff showed my grandmothers."
Her educational journey faced obstacles early on, as she became a single mother after high school.
"After high school, I was unable to complete my studies because I fell pregnant with my son, and being a single mother without a job or qualifications was quite challenging at the time,"
However, her determination and the support of the scholarship allowed her to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
"I was humbled and grateful for the opportunity to receive the Christina Atoa Tapu Nursing Scholarship. I was overwhelmed with emotion, especially being the first in my family to receive a scholarship."
In 2020, the world faced the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Manu-Tanielu found herself at a crossroads when she was made redundant from her job in the airline industry, where she had worked for nearly nine years. It was during this time that she witnessed the commitment of nurses in the fight against COVID-19, which further ignited her passion for the nursing profession.
Ms Manu-Tanielu envisions a brighter future for healthcare in her Pacific community.
"With a Pacific workforce, we'll be able to build a more informed and supportive environment, and we'll be able to tailor our services closer to the Pacific community's needs, making them feel more involved and connected with their healthcare."