Toesulu Brown is recognised

Toesulu Brown has been named a recipient of the Samoa College Old Pupils Association (S.C.O.P.A) New Zealand “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her service to Samoan culture in education in New Zealand.

Toesulu Fa’alogo Brown is a foundation student of Samoa College 1953- 1955, part of the first intake when the college was first established in 1953. In 2009 she was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the Pacific Islands community in New Zealand.

“To mark the 65th anniversary since the establishment of Samoa College, S.C.O.P.A New Zealand will be hosting a special function on Saturday 8th December at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland to acknowledge the contribution of Samoa College ex-students and former teachers in New Zealand,” said Teleiai Edwin Puni, co-chair of the organising committee

Toesulu has been involved with the Auckland Secondary Schools Māori and Pacific Island Festival for 30 years, and is currently a trustee on the Polyfest Trust. She has been involved with Pacific Island cultural and organisational activities and the teaching of Samoan language in Auckland for more than 40 years. 

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In 2010, she was selected one of five inaugural Samoan language champion, Tautai o le gagana Samoa, from Human Rights Commission, New Zealand UNESCO and Fa’alapotopotoga Aoaoina Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa (FAGASA).

Toesulu is a founding member of PACIFICA Incorporated, a women’s organisation established in 1976 and is a life member. She is a member of the Samoan Teachers’ Association and FAGASA and a member of the New Zealand qualifications authority writing panel, which drafted the achievement standards and assessment material for NCEA in Samoan; a member of a wide range of organisations, including the Council of Samoan Women.

After Samoa College, Toesulu won a scholarship to study at Wairarapa College, Masterton in New Zealand from 1956 - 1959 and went on to study as a teacher at Ardmore Teachers’ College in Papakura from 1960 - 1961.

Taught at Richmond Road school, Herne Bay in 1962 before teaching at Bayfield Primary School, Grey Lynn in 1963. 1964 – 1968 Toesulu returned to Samoa and taught at Vaito’omuli Area School, Palauli in Savaii before Apia Primary School then Leififi Intermediate School.

She returned to New Zealand and taught at Ponsonby Primary School 1970 - 1984 before becoming guidance counsellor and teacher at Auckland Girls Grammar School from 1985-2015. Toesulu is a Tiakono at EFKS Grey Lynn and was a nominee for the NZ Herald New Zealand of the Year.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was clear that Samoa needed educated men and women to manage its own affairs as an aspiring independent nation. Officially opened on 2nd October 1953 by Dr. Beeby the then New Zealand Minister of Education; a gift from the people of New Zealand to the people of Samoa.

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