PMA Scholarships 2023 Recipient, Meleane Tauveli: Violani 'Ilolahia Wills Nursing Scholarship
Updates / Community, 12 Dec 23
Meleane Tauveli, a third-year Bachelor of Nursing student at Ara Institute of Canterbury, is not just pursuing a career in healthcare but is on a mission rooted in her familial and cultural ties. Hailing from the villages of Fakakai and Tu’anekivale through her father and Kolofo’ou in Niuafo’ou through her mother, Meleane is the recipient of the Violani 'Ilolahia Wills Nursing Scholarship 2023.

As the oldest of five siblings, Meleane recognizes the weight that comes with leadership and setting an example, especially as a young Pacific woman. "I do think that I'm leading them in the right pathway," acknowledging the responsibility that accompanies her position as the eldest sibling. 

Studying in Christchurch at Ara Institute of Canterbury, she navigates the challenges of academics while staying grounded in her family values. 

Her main drive, she shares, is deeply rooted in her cultural and spiritual background. "My main drive for why I do what I do or why I'm studying nursing would be because of my religion," she states. Her family, her village, and everyone supporting her are the pillars driving her ambition. 

However, the most profound influence on Meleane's life is her Nana. Raised by her grandmother in Tonga during her early years, Meleane's connection with her Nana became the cornerstone of her journey into nursing. When her Nana was diagnosed with cervical cancer, Meleane would do role-playing as a nurse at a young age with a little cup and pens each morning. "It brightened up her mood because at that time there were two of us great grandkids who could be there for her," she reflects. 

Reflecting on the challenges her Nana faced, Meleane expresses her passion for advocacy in Pacific communities. "I just want to be that voice and advocate for our Pacific families, our Pacific peoples, so that they can live longer and lives better," she states. Her personal experience fuels her determination to encourage early screenings and better access to healthcare for Pacific families. 

Meleane's aspirations extend beyond clinical care; she aims to be a familiar face for Pacific families within the healthcare system. "Just to make our families feel comfortable when they are seeking that support," she emphasizes, highlighting the importance of cultural representation in healthcare. 

Awarded the Violani 'Ilolahia Wills Nursing Scholarship, Meleane is humbled and grateful. "I'm so grateful and honoured to have been the recipient of the scholarship," she acknowledges with sincerity. 

Despite her apparent shyness, Meleane recognizes the need to be a voice for her patients. "In this profession, we have to advocate for our patients," she explains, underlining the necessity to challenge the cultural norms of her upbringing to fulfil her role as a nurse. 

Her goal is simple yet profound – to be comfortable in discomfort, to challenge herself, and to grow both personally and professionally.