Australian lawyer gives back to his Samoan communities
Australian-based Samoan lawyer, Leota Sinaumea Taufao, long cherished a dream of giving back to the nation in which he was born and raised.
On Friday he realised it and announced a commitment to sponsor the prize for the Foundation of Law course at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S).
The award for the top student in the Foundation of Law course will be presented by the Dean of Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, Seve Folofoto Seve, at the N.U.S campus.
In addition to Leota's sponsorship for the University course, his mother, Faitauga Taufao, is also sponsoring a prize for the top Year 8 student at Magiagi Primary School. She is from Magiagi and also wishes to help out the school she attended when she was in Samoa.
The awards include a plaque for each and student and monetary prizes: $200 tala for the top student of Law N.US and $100 tala for Magiagi Primary School Dux.
According to Leota, this was a long-time dream and his way of giving back to his country where he was born and raised.
“This is my first award sponsorship and I wanted to do it for some time but I just didn’t want to do it unless I was in a position where I can try and be an inspiration to some of the youth here in Samoa," he said.
"A little bit to give back is something, better than nothing.
“It’s definitely something I wanted to do for a long time, giving back to the Samoan communities where I was brought up.
"Growing up being a Samoan kid on that side of the world is quite hard and challenging.”
Leota is a graduate lawyer at a Law Firm in Brisbane.
Helping develop law graduates from the N.U.S is his way of inspiring the young aspiring lawyers of Samoa.
“Also another reason why I put it for that class is because the Dux for that class usually gets a scholarship overseas and going overseas isn’t the easiest thing," he said.
"It’s expensive so I decided to help."
Seve acknowledged the sponsorship by Leota as he said he was grateful for the help inspiring the youths at N.U.S to do better.
“With Leota’s sponsorship, we hope that it can motivate other people to do the same for our students,” he said.
“This will greatly benefit law students, not only to their preparations of further studies but also to motivate them to do better and further their knowledge.”
Currently, Mata'afa Dr. Desmond Amosa is also sponsoring a prize for the top Foundation Law student for which will mean the year's top student receives two award:
“We’re very grateful for Sinaumea, a child of Samoa residing overseas whose heart is in Samoa so we’re very grateful for his kind gesture.," he said.
"Whenever we get these wonderful kind Samoans wanting to sponsor awards and help us is any way, we’re always happy for them.”