'I want to serve my fanau, the Pacific youth and wider community of Christchurch...'
Josiah worked for several years in advocacy and youth development before deciding to make a difference to the Pasifika community with a Law degree.
‘I want to serve my fanau, the Pacific youth and wider community of Christchurch. I chose to study law at UC as it would make the best use of my skill set to positively impact the people that I serve.’
Studying towards a career in law is an opportunity that Josiah plans to make the most of.
‘A friend of mine works as a solicitor, and he has told me legal work is “never exactly the same” and is “highly challenging”. These are two things I want in an occupation, something that is going to stretch my current abilities adding new ones also.
‘Working as a lawyer I will be able to utilise my understanding of the legal and political system to help our Pasifika and Māori youth as well as all other New Zealanders that I work with. We need skilled and qualified Pasifika lawyers with understanding of the culture, who our people can relate to. I know that I will be able to fill these gaps and act as a go between, to service this need.’
Choosing to do Arts as a second degree was inspired by the opportunity to support his Law studies with courses in other passions.
‘I like the flexibility of my arts degree. Even though my major is in Political Science and minor in History, it is fantastic that I am able to do interest papers as they come up and be involved in a much wider programme.’
Josiah had chosen UC because of advice from friends and chose to stay in University Hall accommodation for his first year.
‘I have grown to know many graduates and those studying toward degrees at Canterbury. These people have all conveyed the many positive aspects of the campus, staff and structures giving me a very positive impression of UC.
‘The more I thought about the opportunities that studying Law at UC would give me the more solidified I became in my decision to study here. Studying Law will allow me to give even more of myself to the community that I love while also aiding my personal growth and development.’
Josiah has so far achieved much towards his goal. He has received a UC Pasifika Emerging Leaders Scholarship, a Māori and Pacific Achievement Scholarship through CPIT and a Pacific Islands Education Foundation Scholarship. He also received a School Leavers Law Scholarship from Russell McVeagh, a Law firm in Auckland that supports students intending to study Law.
At UC, Josiah is a UCME XL tutor as part of the Pacific Outreach Programme, where he teaches History, Drama, religious Studies and English to secondary school students. He is also a student representative for the UC Pasifika Strategy Advisory Board, which aims to make sure UC supports the Pacific community.
He has also involved himself in the Pacific community outside of UC and study. Josiah is part of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation (PYLAT) Council Charitable Trust, of which he was elected Chairman. His role has involved working with the Christchurch Youth Council and attending events, such as the Auckland Pasifika Youth Conference.
‘The council has always been very dear to me and my primary outlet for my involvement in the Pacific community,’ he says.