“I was an active child through to my early teens, but I was a big boy in my early 20’s. I worked at a fast food joint for a few years and loaded on the weight and became physically inactive. There was a point in my life where two key things stood out for me, when I ripped my triple size trousers at work and getting an extension belt when I was on a flight. I was like ‘man, something’s gotta give’. That was the turning point. I had this gym membership, there was always intention and I remember saying to myself ‘you’ve paid for this treadmill’, so that was motivation to go back and do little by little.

Nearly twenty years later, I’m teaching 10 classes a week at Les Mills Christchurch City. I believe health is wealth and if you don’t have good health you can’t live to your full potential. Pasifika health statistics in Aotearoa are worse than other ethnic groups. I’d love to be a part of the vision of improving the health statistics moving forward. My passion stems from helping and empowering those that are marginalised or vulnerable, and improving health equity for our communities.

I work as a practice nurse three days a week at Eastcare Health in Aranui. Thursdays and Fridays I work as a community nurse with Tangata Atumotu Trust, a Pasifika provider, we operate a mobile nursing service for those predominantly 45 yrs and over. I do some community work as well with the Pasifika community utilising my skills, not only as a registered nurse, but also as a health promoter and educator. Using my background in physical activity – I can hopefully create more positive change – not only in individuals but also for the community.

It’s about taking those little steps, being able to recognise in yourself that you really want to make that change. It’s about lifestyle changes and not being afraid to recognise that if you need a helping hand then go and get it. I think it’s important to not only focus on the physical wellbeing but a holistic change. Also looking at the mental, emotional, spiritual and psychological wellbeing. I think Christchurch is getting better at it.”

– Suli

Charity registration number: CC57701