Shane Tuilagi is a rarity. A lawyer by profession having studied and graduated from the University of the South Pacific's (U.S.P) campus at Vanuatu, he is taking a different path than the one taken by many of his fellow students.
“I believe that my knowledge will be much more useful away from the Courtroom,” he tells the Sunday Samoan. “Besides, I don’t want to sit in an office all day.”
And with that in mind, he enrolled in the Police new recruits programme. After weeks of training and more hard work, Mr. Tuilagi emerged as the top student when the new recruits graduated on Friday.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated Mr. Tuilagi and his colleagues (see story page 16).
Shane is the son of Tuilagi Siaosi and Kolini Tuilagi of Pesega and Fatausi Savai’i.
He attended the Church College at Pesega before we went on to attend the Foundation year at the N.U.S in 2011.
It was there he received a scholarship to study at the Vanuatu Law School. He graduated in 2015.
Mr. Tuilagi said being a lawyer is something his mother always wanted him to be and he did it. But his father had a different wish.
“This is what my father wanted me to be,” the 24-year-old said about being a Police officer. “He would be very happy with my choice now.”
Mr. Tuilagi said he never had second thoughts about joining the Force because he wanted to know more about the laws of Samoa.
“It will be very useful for me,” he said. “By the time I finally put my law degree into use, I’ll have a lot of experience having been involved in coalface of justice and policing in Samoa.
“Not every lawyer has that experience, but this is a good start for me.”
Mr. Tuilagi added that his parents not only motivated him to become a Police officer, one of his uncles was a former Assistant Police Commissioner and he wanted to continue the work he did.
Asked about his future plans, Mr. Tuilagi said he wants to climb the ladder at the Police. He said there are a lot of opportunities there and he wants to work his way up. He is particularly interested in the connections between the Samoa Police Force, Australia Federal Police and the United Nations in terms of peace keeping missions.
He said those are the kind of opportunities he wants to explore.
“I am honoured to be a Police man,” he said. “There is no need for me to rush into becoming a lawyer because my partner is also a lawyer.”
“I want to become the next Egon Keil in the future.”