Date posted: 21/10/2022

Our 2022 Pacific Scholarship recipients share their stories

Our Pacific Scholarship program supports three young people who are aspiring to greater things.

Every year Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) supports students of Pacific heritage living in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, with scholarships to help with tuition fees and other costs.

“To receive this important award from CA ANZ itself is overwhelming and a humbling experience for me. This scholarship will help fund 70% of my remaining course fees which is a major boost for me.”

These scholarships aim to break down financial barriers to success and open the door to greater opportunities in accounting. 

We spoke with the three recipients this year about their career journeys and aspirations.

Asela Faith Tarasomo

Asela Tarasomo

Hailing from Mortlock Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Tufi, in PNG, Asela didn’t always intend to study accounting – it was a pivot into the workforce that eventually led her there. 

“As a child, I aspired to be a lawyer, then a pilot, but never an accountant. It all started in 2015, when I realised I couldn't continue my study due to financial restrictions. I looked for jobs and ended up working as a receptionist for a radio station.” 

“That position evolved into an administration assistant position, which led to me being the company's Payroll Officer and Accounts Payable.”

“I surprised myself by enjoying being a part of the Accounts Department. It was at that point that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in accounting.”

To gain further education in accounting, Asela moved to New Zealand to study a bachelor's degree in business majoring in accounting at Massey University. Now in her second year, she is looking forward to using the scholarship to get ahead.

“This scholarship will go towards purchasing course textbooks and replacing my laptop battery. Obtaining this scholarship has also been such a huge motivation to me.” 

“Even though it’s in the form of financial aid, it’s the encouragement I needed to continue pushing through. University is not easy and it’s things like this that remind me that I can finish this journey, I’m here for a reason, and that I can make a difference.”

"My enthusiasm and respect for the accounting profession has increased tremendously since studying, and I intend to use my passion for audit to make a difference in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand once I graduate.”

Dallin Lawrence

Dallin Lawrence

Not many 23-year-olds can say they’ve lived in Albania or Kosovo, but that’s just one interesting step Dallin has taken on his way to obtaining a Pacific Scholarship.

“In 2018, I travelled to Kosovo, and served as a volunteer missionary there for four months, before moving to Albania which is close by. It was very humbling to serve there and made me want to aspire to more in my life.”

Born in Auckland to a Niuean mother, Dallin is in the second year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Otago University, majoring in accounting.

“I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in accounting from a young age. I have always been interested in how money is handled. Getting to study accounting has definitely made me a lot more passionate about business and how different forms of financing are compiled into financial statements.”

Dallin says the scholarship not only gave him a financial, but a confidence boost too.

“The scholarship alone allows me to feel a sense of pride to have a great organisation recognise my achievements as well as help me with the additional costs needed to complete my studies.”

“I currently work part time on weekends to accumulate some savings to pay my tuition as well as make ends meet and it has been difficult to balance this with academics, internship work and volunteer duties at church. The funds will help me with my goal to pay my tuition fees and allow me to put more time into my studies.”

Over summer, Dallin is in line for an internship with Deloitte, with a view to gaining a graduate role.

“I aim to complete all the cores and relevant electives with CA ANZ to achieve my goal to qualify as a Chartered Accountant during my career.”

Tevita Ratu Tapu’osi ‘Akau’ola

Tevita Ratu

It’s been a long path towards gaining his CA designation, but with the help of a Pacific Scholarship, Tonga’s Tevita can see the end in sight.

“When I started my first year at university in 2011, my ultimate goal was to become a Chartered Accountant. Eleven years later I have the opportunity to pursue that dream,” he says.

Having completed his Bachelor of Accounting and Master of Professional Accounting, Tevita has plenty of experience but found it difficult to get the resources and time to complete the CA Program.

“To receive this important award from CA ANZ itself is overwhelming and a humbling experience for me. This scholarship will help fund 70% of my remaining course fees which is a major boost for me.”

Growing up in the village of Malapo, Tevita was excited to bring his skills and knowledge back to his homeland, initially by working for the Ministry of Revenue and Customs Tonga, before more recently starting at the Retirement Fund Board as an internal auditor.

“I chose accounting because every business industry needs an accountant. They are high in demand. I believed accounting would equip me with the right skills I needed to make a difference for people, businesses, and communities. 

“I intend to continue working for my current employer and apply my new skills gained from the CA Program. I am also looking to form a network here in Tonga to aid future colleagues who look to pursue chartered accounting.”

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