Anamaria Tulia

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Anamaria Criminal Justice

What inspired you to enrol in Criminal Justice?

I want to give back to my Pasifika community. People coming from the islands don’t necessarily always understand how the Aotearoa New Zealand justice system works and I’d like to bridge that knowledge gap for them. I’m also quite interested in becoming a police officer. I have a strong sense of justice!

What has surprised you most about the degree?

It’s been a lot more engaging than I expected. I thought it would be mostly reading and writing but we do heaps of other stuff. We go on field trips and there are lots of class discussions and group work.

Which field trip stands out most in your mind?

In first year we visited the Christchurch Women’s Prison. It was a real eye-opener to see the things our lecturers talk about in real life. It inspired me to learn more about not only prison systems, but the prisoners as well.

How would you describe the UC lecturers?

Outgoing, inclusive and easy to approach. Growing up as a Pacific Islander, I find it really hard to approach older people. Finally, in my third year, I went to UC’s Pacific Development Team (PDT) and they made the connections for me. The PDT help you with everything from study support to making friends through events like Jandals and fiafia nights. They understand if you’re feeling shy and help you reach out when you need to.

You’re also involved in PowerUp?

Yes, it’s a tutoring program for Pasifika kids run by the Ministry of Education. I was a student with them at school and now I’m a tutor. We go out to high schools to help Year 12 and 13 students transition to uni. It’s a pretty cool programme. I was the only Pasifika student at my high school so I’m especially happy to be part of a much bigger Pasifika community at UC.

"I was the only Pasifika student at my high school so I’m especially happy to be part of a much bigger Pasifika community at UC."

What’s your advice to Pasifika students coming to UC?

Don’t be afraid to reach out. Everyone’s here to help, no matter how small. And get involved with PDT early on, don’t wait ‘til third year like I did!

What are you most proud of achieving at your time in UC?

Finding my own way. Before UC, I always used to feel like I had to follow others or have someone else with me. Now I know I’m more than capable of doing things myself.