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Nurse graduates, ready to return home

A Samoan registered nurse who did a 10-month health training course at the Auckland University of Technology [AUT] is ready to return home to utilise her skills and knowledge.

Soteria Matthes from Niusuatia Safata told the Samoa Observer that she has completed her postgraduate diploma in public health from the AUT with the programme lasting 10 months.

She said she is a registered nurse and has worked for eight years at the Poutasi and Saanapu hospitals before she went to New Zealand for studies.

“My achievement is dedicated to my parents who have been supporting me from Samoa through prayers,” she said.

“My mother Maatasesa Samuelu-Matthes is from Vaisala Savaii and my father John Matthes is from Niusuatia Safata.”

Ms Matthes was among 20 students in the Open Category of the New Zealand government scholarship who received their awards in February and traveled out to take up the award.

“I was granted a scholarship opportunity under the MFAT NZ scholarships award in 2019 and moved to NZ in February 2020 to pursue my studies on a postgraduate diploma in public health at AUT for the length of 10 months.”


Asked if the COVID-19 global pandemic impacted her and her studies, Ms Matthes said there was limited face-to-face interaction, nevertheless the AUT offered student support which enabled her to achieve her goals.

“Some of the challenges for my studies at AUT was the limited face-to-face contact due to COVID restrictions, however, the support from AUT itself through online learning and the regular support from MFAT NZ had made it possible for me to successfully achieved my goal this year.”

As to what her plans were for the future, she said she is looking forward to returning home.

“Now that I have completed my studies, I am looking forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills I have in the Health Sector of Samoa when returning, especially as this is very much relevant to the global health crisis the world is currently facing.”

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