Driven by their passion for marine science and conservation, a group of young enthusiasts at the University of the South Pacific have formed the first Marine Studies Student’s Association entitled Wantok Moana.
'Wantok’ of Melanesian origin refers to people of a similar language or tribe. ‘Moana’ of Polynesian origin, refers to the sea or ocean. ‘Wantok Moana’ is therefore the “Tribe of the Ocean”.
The group was created in March this year to increase marine awareness, conservation and management issues amongst its members which include students, staff and alumni of the School of Marine Studies.
“We’re not just another student group,” says Alifereti Koroilavesau, the current President of Wantok Moana. “Through this network, we have created a forum which enables our members to assist each other academically as well as bridging the usual gap between us and our lecturers in terms of understanding the issues they are teaching us”
The current members hail from various ethnic backgrounds across the region who share similar environmental interests and concerns.
Alifereti, being one of the founding members of the group, believes that the emergence of Wantok Moana will effectively equip its young members for their future work fields.
“The University of the South Pacific is the melting pot of students from across the region. Wantok Moana provides the avenue for regional students to discuss past, present and future marine related issues".
Future plans for the association include awareness raising activities in schools and communities as well as raising the profile of the association with government and non-government agencies.
For more information contact Kelly Thomas Brown, Wantok Moana Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org