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Samoan Scientist Podcast

Samoan Scientist Podcast

By Amy
This is a platform to share my process and journey as a New Zealand born, Samoan women, scientist. As well as chatting to other indigenous scientists about their journey.
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Forever Failing

Samoan Scientist Podcast

Forever Failing

Samoan Scientist Podcast

Forever Failing
It has been a really rough time in my career so I want to share a talanoa that I've had in my mind for a while. In the hopes of helping you on your journey and knowing that you're not alone. ps. sorry about the sniffling. 
March 12, 2021
Julia Arnott-Neenee - Strategist and Co-founder in Technology
Note: This was recorded pre COVID-19 Introducing Julia Arnott-Nee, strategist and advocate for bridging the gap of technology in our Pacific communities. Raised in Grey Lynn, Auckland and Christchurch, Julia talks about her journey into the tech industry, including her time at HP in America. We talk about Julia having an arts background and how she moved into tech, the hustle of applying for jobs, embracing her uniqueness and allowing space for others to do so and lastly, her current pursuit of empowering Māori and Pacific into the tech industry. If you have any questions for Julia you can reach her on Facebook: Julia Arnott-Neenee Instagram: jarnottneenee LinkedIn: Julia Arnott-Neenee
February 9, 2021
Eteroa Lafele- Software Engineer
Introducing Eteroa Lafele, a Samoan software engineer. Born and bred in Cannons Creek, Porirua, Wellington. We talked about how Eteroa got into tech, her transition from Wellington to Auckland, to study at the Auckland University of Technology. Speaking her truth, about her experiences in Tech, as a Pacific women and her passion for supporting our Pacific Community. You may want to adjust your volume because, we laugh A LOT on this episode! If you have any questions for Eteroa or want to have chat. Send her an email eteroalafele080@gmail.comor you can contact her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at Eteroa Lafele.
November 16, 2020
Madeline Shelling- Maori Scientist
Mads is from Ngati Porou on her mums side and grew up in Helensville, Auckland. On this episode we talk about Mads journey into science. Starting with growing up in Helensville, following her passion throughout university, aid work, her PhD in Maori health and food sovereignty and CrossFit. If you have any questions for Mads you can contact her on Instagram @madeline.alice or Facebook: Madeline Shelling
August 16, 2020
Tulele Masoe- Engineer
Tulele talks about his childhood in Samoa, the ups and downs of his engineering degree and rugby. Listen out for the family shout outs and nostalgia! If you have any questions for Tulele you can send them my way on IG, Facebook, Youtube or
July 13, 2020
Lolo Tukuafu- Enviromental Scientist
Lolo is currently working and living in Tonga as a GIS analyst. I managed to catch up with him while he was in NZ and he kept it real! Lolo talked about moving to NZ from Tonga after high school, being the shy guy, university, climate change and living and working in Tonga.
March 19, 2020
Alyx Pivac- Indigenous Scientist and Activist
We are starting 2020 right as I sat down with Alyx Pivac, an indigenous scientist and activist. She is of Māori (Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa) and Croatian descent and grew up in Whangārei with her mum, dad and two sisters. We talked about her dual identities growing up, her passion for the ocean and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice.  If you have any questions for Alyx, feel free to message her on Instagram: @alyxpivac or email:
February 5, 2020
What I learned in 2019
2019 was very challenging for me however, I learnt a lot of things about how to get through those challenges.  What I learnt in 2019: 1) Self reflection is key 2) The internet is amazing 3) The mind is powerful 4) The system is real 5) Stop buying stupid things I also talked about goals and intentions for your next journey/year. 
December 31, 2019
What the Scientists Say!
We are ending our series this year by reflecting on the talanoa I’ve had with Kahu Painintng (Indigenous Scientist), Brogan McGreal (Scientist), Ant Vavia (Marine Biologist), Sophia Olo-Whaanga (Environment and Sustainability Advisor) and Chris Puliuvea (Immunology Scientist). I summarised their advice about how to overcome challenges, how to get into science and their experiences of how they got started in science.
December 16, 2019
Chris Puliuvea- Immunology Scientist
This episode we chat to Chris Puliuvea, immunology scientist. Chris was born in Tonga, moved to NZ at young age and is the eldest of seven siblings. He developed his passion for science in Tonga, where he had a curiosity for understanding how things work. We talked about 1) Transitioning from Tonga to NZ schooling 2) How to get through the tough times 3) Science strengthening his faith in Christianity 4) Giving science a go. If you have any questions you can email chris
December 10, 2019
Sophia Olo-Whaanga: Environment and Sustainability Advisor
This episode we chat to environment and sustainability advisor, Sophia Olo-Whaanga. With a Postgraduate diploma in environmental science, she is the first grandchild from her mother’s side to graduate from university. Sophia is very passionate about giving back to the community by working with her marae (Makaurau Marae, Ihumātao) and by encouraging rangatahi (younger generations) into science. We talk about how to navigate university, being indigenous in the workplace and to just do it, if you’re thinking about getting into science. If you have any questions you can email Sophia at or message her on instagram @kaitiaki.sophia
December 1, 2019
Q & A
This episode you ask the questions and I answer them 1) Whats the money like being a scientist? Are scientists paid their worth? 2) How did you choose the right university best suited for you and your goals?
November 24, 2019
Ant Vavia- Marine Biologist
Marine biologist and vaka enthusiast, Ant Vavia, talks about his scientific voyage. Ant set out on his journey, discovering his passion for the outdoors, adventure and marine science. Currently pursuing his PhD in marine biology, he is taking his research back home to Mitiaro, Cook Islands. This episode we talk about navigating through high school, university life, research in the Solomon Islands, standing out as a Pasifika student and vaka. If you have any questions for Ant, send him a message on Facebook: Ant Vavia or Instagram @antstagraamm. Plus he has a YouTube channel in the works! So watch this space
November 15, 2019
Brogan McGreal- Scientist
This episode we talk to Research Associate, Brogan McGreal. Brogan is the eldest of two brothers and grew up in West Auckland. She is Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne and Ngai Tahu. She currently works at Plant and Food Research, looking at plant disease on apples and avocados. We chatted about gap years, wanting to be a doctor in high school, job experience and so much more (and a lot of laughing). If you have any questions for Brogan, you can email her at
November 8, 2019
Study tips for exams
With exams coming up. I want to share some tips and tricks that have helped me over the years and I hope they help you too!
November 1, 2019
Te Kahuratai Painting- Indigenous Scientist
Our first indigenous scientist we chat to is Te Kahuratai Painting, learning advisor at Te Fale Pouāwhina, The University of Auckland. Kahu has a background in biomedical science, applied mathematics specialising in mathematical biology and Mātauranga Māori. We touched on many topics such as change in careers, climate change, indigenous knowledge, tips for getting into science and so much more! You can hit him up on Facebook- Te Kahurertai Painting or email for more questions.
October 24, 2019
Who Stole My Taro?!
This episode I read to you the mythology story of the beautiful taro. This story is from the book, Samoan Heroes by David Riley and illustrated by Michael Mulipola. 
October 17, 2019
This episode you ask the questions and I answer them. 1) How do I learn Samoan? I'm the only plastic one in my family and trying to actively learn. 2)  Has science been a viable career for you so far? 3) What vision do you see our up and coming pasifika scientists achieving?
October 10, 2019
How I Became a Scientist
Being a scientist is not a common job for most people, especially for a New Zealand born Samoan woman. This episode I share my unique, not your usual path into science and why Im still in science today. 
October 3, 2019
I Am Dumb
Ever had this thought? SAME. I've felt this way since high school and it's been/still a process I'm working to reverse. Today I'm unpacking my thoughts and sharing some options that have worked for me.
September 27, 2019
Talofa! This episode I'm introducing myself, the aim for the Samoan Scientist podcast and what type of content I'm planning.
September 15, 2019