Elisapeta Agnes Anitelea will be leaving for Australia this month to undertake a Masters Degree in Global Public Health at Victoria University in Melbourne.
She is one of the latest recipients of the Australian Awards scholarships, and says she was delighted to have been one of the successful applicants.
“In 2021, I applied online and was thrilled when I was told I had made the interview stage,” she said.
She said she would not have done it without the help of her parents, her principal and work colleagues, “and not forgetting my aunty Mrs. Niseta Buatava English who is an Lecturer at USP”.
Elisapeta also thanked her spiritual parents, Deac Faafetai and Otilia as well as Fr Mauola Leilua for their continous support and encouragement. “and all my friends and families.”
Elisapeta was elated to receive news that she had been shortlisted after the online application process. She then attended a face to face interview as the next stage of the process, and was told she had been shortlisted.
“That’s when I knew there were just a few of us, mature-age students and the five top Foundation students from the 2021 graduates.”
Elisapeta attended Vaitele Primary school until Year 5 and then moved to Faleula Primary School for Years 6 to 8.
She is a proud alumni of Avele College where she attended Years 9 to 12. In her final year of high school, for Year 13, she moved to St Joseph’s College because her mom was a teacher at SJC.
After her Foundation year at NUS in 2013, Elisapeta was awarded a World Health Organisation Fellowship.
“I went to Fiji National University, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science and studied a Bachelor of Dietetics and Nutrition. It was a 3 year degree from 2014-2016.”
When Elisapeta returned home to Samoa, she started working at the National Health Services (NHS) as a Registered Dietitian with Motootua National Hospital.
She has been working at NHS since 2017, through the merger with the Ministry of Health in 2019, until this time.
Elisapeta went through a tough year in 2020 with the passing of her grandmother and her younger brother in the same year.
Her grandmother, Lalago Rosa Ieru Peau Scanlan Tuilagi , was her biggest fan and main inspiration.
“Ever since I returned with my Bachelors degree, my grandmother always encouraged me to continue with my education and look to what’s next,” she tells Samoa Global News.
“Don’t stop there. Go and get another higher degree,” her grandma would urge.
“When my Mama and younger brother passed away in 2020, it was rough for me, but it also triggered something and gave me the courage to apply in 2021.
Elisapeta Agnes Anitelea is a registered Dietitian under the Allied Health Professionals and the Ministry of Health Allied Health Council since 2017.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Emily Luck, spoke in a ceremony held for those who’ve been blessed with Australian Awards scholarships for this year.
“While it is important to work hard to earn your degree, I also hope you enjoy your experience overseas,” said the High Commissioner. “We wish you all the best with your studies.”
The Australia Awards provide opportunities for Samoans to study at tertiary institutions in Australia and the Pacific. The awards enable students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to their country’s development.