Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop of the Sa Atoa, Sa Te’o, Sa Petaia families was recognised last Thursday evening as one of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University in Wellington -at an awards event at the TSB Arena, Queens Wharf in the heart of Wellington.
“The distinguished Alumni Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of New Zealanders who made and continue to make, inspiring contributions in may spheres of activity and endeavour. The recipients of the 2019 awards have transformed their respective fields, leaving a mark not only here in Wellington and New Zealand but also around the world. They demonstrate the best of our values and show our current and future students what can be achieved with an education from this university, “ said Neil Paviour-Smith, Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington.
In accepting the award Tagaloatele said, “In all ways, this is a family award. VUW has played a great part in our family lives since our parents migrated to New Zealand with 5 children in the 1940s and my sister and I were born here. Our first family home was in Kilbirnie up on the hills (which is still in our family) and in all ways our family are natives of Kilbirnie and a little bit of Newtown. The spirit of tautua – our education was not for ourselves or personal gain but to serve the good of our aiga, our country, and others.”
Tagaloatele’s friends, family and colleagues were in attendance to celebrate with her on the receiving of this distinguished award including the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Hon Fiame Mataafa, Hon Aupito William Sio, and close friends and former colleagues Marilyn Waring, Rev Senetenari Iupeli and faletua Rosetta Iupeli, Tofilau Bernadette Pereira (PACIFICA INC National President), Malia Tua'i Manuleleua (National Communications Officer) and Repeka Lelaulu, (Acting President for Auckland Central Branch) and others.
The other 2019 awardees included a judge, astronaut, Olympic snowboarder, business director, business leader and advocate for Maori economic development.