Australian Governor General Launches Change Maker Video Series

The Governor-General was pleased to meet with Change Makers Lagi Keresoma and Vai Ripley, as well as local content maker Gardenia Elisaia-Morrison. Ms. Keresoma and Ms. Ripley were featured in last night’s Change Makers video presentation. Mrs. Elisaia-Morrison worked together with ABC Australia to produce the Change Maker series.

23 June 2023 Apia, SAMOA – His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs. Linda Hurley were pleased to launch the latest season of a video series highlighting remarkable Samoans making significant impacts in their fields.

The series, called ‘Change Makers’, features a diverse group of Samoans, including Mata’afa Fa’atino Utumapu, a disability advocate and President of Nuanua o le Alofa; Lagi Keresoma, a veteran journalist and President of the Journalists Association of Samoa; and Vaimo’oi’a Ripley, a sailing athlete with hopes of making it to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In his remarks to launch the series, the Governor-General said: “It is through collaboration that we can truly become change-makers, transcending boundaries, and making a lasting impact on the world around us. As we honour the change-makers amongst us, let us remember that the power to affect change resides in each of us.”

In his remarks, the Governor-General spoke about the capacity of everyone to be change makers, making meaningful contributions to their communities and society.

The Governor-General also spoke about our collective efforts to respond to climate change and acknowledged the Australia Awards climate alumni in attendance who are also change makers in this critical space.

The Governor-General pictured with DFAT staff Mr. Greg Furness and Mr. Tuileva Tuileva (left) and Australia Awards alumni Mr. Silipa Mulitalo (right).

He commended them on their leadership in advocating for sustainable practices, developing innovative solutions, and inspiring others to make meaningful contributions to protecting the Blue Pacific region and beyond.

The Governor-General also spoke about the importance of looking to traditional knowledge for solutions to address the profound challenges of today, reminding everyone of their capacity to make meaningful change in their everyday lives.

The Governor-General was pleased to meet with talented Samoan boxer Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali at last night’s Change Maker’s reception.

The ‘Change Makers’ video series is a co-production between the Australian-funded Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) and SamoaGEM, with content makers in both Samoa and Australia collaborating to tell the stories of influential Samoans.

The video series will be available to watch on local free-to-air television, including TV1 Samoa.

PACMAS is managed by ABC International Development and supports the development of a diverse, independent and professional Pacific media sector through training, sharing media expertise and providing technical and program support.