Advocating for women worldwide.
Raho Kila
Get to know Raho Kila,
Law and Political Science

You’re from Papua New Guinea – why did you choose UC?

I thought it would be an adventure to study further away from home. Plus, following the earthquake there are a lot of job opportunities here now.

What’s it like to be a student at UC?

It's so enjoyable! You get the academic environment and you get social fulfillment as well. I think that university is one of the few times in life where you can have that split between work and freedom. It's just perfect.

Has it been easy to make friends?

The people here are so friendly! I thought my friends would be confined to my degree, but I've met so many people from across the university in my accommodation at Waimairi Village.

You’ve set up the Canterbury Melanesian Students’ Association. Tell us about that!

Melanesian refers to ‘the dark islanders’ – Papua New Guineans, Fijians, Ni-Vanuatu, Solomon Islanders. We’re often overshadowed by Polynesian culture and don't speak for our own diversity. Where I come from, we have 1000 different tribes and 800 unique languages. Having our own association will help us embrace our culture and show the true diversity of the Pacific.

"We speak of equality for women, but we don't show it. I want to change that."

Is there a lot of student support here?

Absolutely. They really cater for the welfare of students and listen to the voice of the student body. There’s always someone helping you and pointing you in the right direction. When I first came to UC I was terrified. But as soon as I stepped into the Student Centre they helped me find accommodation and settle into uni life. It was a huge relief. It made me feel so happy.

How would you like to change the world?

I'm a huge fan of advocating for the rights of woman, especially in Papua New Guinea. We speak of equality for women, but we don't show it. I want to change that.

How is UC setting you up to make that change?

UC has broadened the way I think. Academically, I've learned to examine the deeper principles behind a society’s laws. As a person, I feel really confident now. Here you get to break barriers and to do things you wouldn't expect.

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