Deen Stewart

Deen Stewart

Owner/Operator, Broud Games
Logistics Specialist, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Bachelor of Business in Management

She is proud of creating a card game that makes it fun to learn Samoan at home, says business alumna Deen Stewart who is the owner/operator of Broud Games.

“Having found my own challenges in maintaining my mother tongue at home, I decided to create a Samoan language card game that focused on the ‘fun aspect’ of learning a language at home. Broud! Samoan Edition is a 100 card game that encourages players to speak, read, sing and start conversations in the Samoan language with their friends, families and fellow players.

“I developed the game with my cousins Fotualii Tufue and Courtney Hifo, with design and graphics done by the talented Holly Vaihu at Golden Mean Ltd, and made locally thanks to Stuart Shepherd at Soar Print Ltd. I was able to validate my idea through one-on-one conversations with volunteers that were interested in the idea of a language game. One of my goals was to get a Pacific bilingual game stocked in stores across New Zealand, and fortunately, it happened.”

Deen says she was inspired by family members who had been successful in establishing their own business.

“My interest in entrepreneurship grew but I was unsure how to develop a sound business idea. That’s why I decided to enrol in the CO.STARTERS programme at AUT, which was an experience that gave me the courage and confidence to bring life to my idea of a language game. I feel that I’m now equipped with the tools and knowledge involved in turning an idea into a sound business.”

Finding her path
Her work first sparked her interest in business, says Deen who completed her Bachelor of Business in Management in 2020 and balances motherhood, Broud Games and her role as a logistics specialist at the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

“After gaining experience in administration and supply chain management, I learned that I took a liking to business studies. I had been studying part-time through another institute while working full-time for my current employer. Once I learned that the RNZAF was offering a full-time study programme at AUT, I jumped at the opportunity.”

She lists completing her degree among the achievements she is most proud of.

“I value service and helping others, so am proud to have been part of the humanitarian aid relief work in the Pacific, and the earthquake relief efforts in Christchurch in 2011 and Kaikoura in 2018. I’m equally proud of completing my Bachelor of Business, and of course credit my family for all the support throughout my career – from my late grandparents, my mum to my husband, who I met in the RNZAF, and our two beautiful girls.

“I’m proud of these achievements, as not many people can say that their employer offers opportunities to travel, study at AUT, let alone support for family. I’m also proud to represent South Auckland born and raised Pacific women.”

Making the most of uni life
Deen had plenty of highlights throughout her time at AUT.

“I would 100% recommend it. The two main highlights for me were meeting Stacey Morrison at an AUT leadership presentation and completing the CO.STARTERS programme as part of my final-year workplace experience. Meeting Stacey provided insight to different leadership perspectives I could personally relate to, and through CO.STARTERS I learned about entrepreneurship, an area I had been interested in for some time.”

She has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“My advice is to lean into subjects you’re curious about, give it a go and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

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