Australian High Commissioner Hosts Knowledge-Sharing Forum for Miss Samoa Contestants

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31 August 2023 Apia Samoa. Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Emily Luck, was pleased to host this year’s Miss Samoa contestants at her residence at Tiapapata for a knowledge-sharing luncheon.

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Inspired by Onomea Productions’ strong mentorship approach to the Miss Samoa
platform, the intimate gathering was attended by former Miss Samoa titleholders – Papalii Alexandra Iakopo-Ah Tong, now the Gender & Disability Program Manager at the Australian High Commission, and Taii Cheri Robinson Moors, Team Leader for Australia’s Tautua Human Development for All Program.

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Her Excellency shared her experiences in international diplomacy and relations, and the power of agency no matter a country’s size.

“The Australian High Commission acknowledges the influential role the Miss Samoa platform continues to play in empowering young tamaitai Samoa, to amplify their voices and serve their communities.”

Australian High Commission to Samoa hosts knowledge-sharing luncheon for Miss Samoa contestants. Photos 📸 Jordan Kwan.

Papalii Alexandra delivered a presentation on gender equality, disability and social inclusion, while Taii Cheri focused on skills in partnership building.

The luncheon was also an opportunity to hear from the contestants on areas they are passionate about including the critical issues they would like to advocate for.

Her Excellency was pleased to announce the Australian High Commission’s collaboration with the Miss Samoa platform with an in-kind support grant of up to WST$10,000.

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The grant is funded through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program
(DAP) and will enable the next winner of Miss Samoa to undertake a community project in line with existing DAP guidelines.

Ms Luck encouraged the contestants to invest in Samoa’s development, a responsibility shared by all.

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“Our support for the Miss Samoa platform underscores our broader commitment to empowering young people to be change-makers,” said Ms Luck.

“When we recognise and cultivate the leadership potential of today’s youth, we ensure an engaged and vibrant future leadership cohort who will build tomorrow’s thriving societies,” said Ms Luck.

HE Emily Luck with Ms Samoa Miss Haylani Kuruppu. Photos 📸 Jordan Kwan.

Miss Samoa Haylani Kuruppu responded on behalf of the contestants to show their appreciation.

“Young tamaitai Samoa carry within them a boundless energy and passion to effect meaningful change. On behalf of the Miss Samoa platform, I offer my warmest thank you to the Australian High Commission for providing this support, and for recognising the potential of young Samoan women to
drive positive and meaningful change in their communities,” said Miss Kuruppu.

Background Information on DAP

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program funded from Australia’s development budget. Guided by DAP guidelines, the Australian High Commission works with local communities on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia’s national interest.

DAP has a long and proud history of supporting community projects and initiatives in Samoa that covers a range of sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, environmental protection, women’s empowerment and gender equality, supporting people with disabilities, economic livelihoods, food security and human rights.

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