In the second week of the July holidays, I participated in a course at the University of Auckland called Whakapiki Ake. It is a course that is designed to help and guide Maori students who are looking at a future career in the health and medical field. The course I attended was specifically for year 12 students from all over New Zealand and was called MASH (Maori achieving success in Health).
Over the course of the week, we stayed in the Waipapa Marae on the University campus. It was a four-day course where we got to understand more about being Maori and what that means, exploring Whakapapa and learning to treat everyone no matter what their skin tone may be, as Whanau.
As I am in the Medical Science Academy at Waitakere College, I feel extremely privileged to have been able to participate in a course so unique and as incredible as Whakapiki Ake. Not only did we form new bonds of friendship, but our minds were opened to so many new career pathways in the medical and health fields. We were able to go to the Grafton campus ( the main science campus at the University of Auckland), where we talked to health and medical professionals about their jobs and what part they play in providing support for our communities.
Aside from all the learning and knowledge we gained from this course, we also had many fun activities such as an escape room on the first night to break the ice, followed by an amazing race through the City, and many performances and Tik Toks to keep us all entertained. This course was such an amazing and valuable experience, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.
I would highly recommend for any current Year 11 students in our Medical Science Academy that are Maori or anyone that is Maori and thinking of a career in health or medicine, to think about doing Whakapiki Ake next year. It really opens your mind to career fields you never even knew existed in the Sciences.
Whakapiki Ake has helped to shape me more as a person and to uncover what I wish to pursue in my future.
Year 12 Medical Science Academy.