Graceland Mary Ioane

Graceland Mary Ioane

Team Administration/Support, Adult Community Services, Auckland District Health Board
Bachelor of Health Science in Health Administration

She discovered her passion for helping people when she was in high school, says Graceland Mary Ioane who came to AUT to study a health management degree.

“Health was a field I naturally gravitated towards as I grew up in a home that cared for my grandfather who had Parkinson’s Disease, and had immediate family members who survived colon cancer.

“I knew I wanted a career in health, but choosing my major took me a while. Health administration was intriguing to me as I had always thought that you had to be a clinician to work in health. I saw health administration as an opportunity to learn about the health system, and as a possible avenue to make systematic improvements to health issues in New Zealand, particularly for Pacific and Māori communities.”

It's a decision she hasn’t regretted and there were numerous highlights throughout her time at university.

“AUT was very welcoming, and the lecturers were encouraging. I particularly remember a lecture on health equity, and realising how big the need for diversity in decision-making and leadership roles is. I also appreciated that the Student Hub and Employability and Careers team were very supportive, and their events and activities were empowering. I loved participating in the AUT Edge Award, and my workplace experience broadened my view of the opportunities I could go on to after university.”

A rewarding health career
Since completing her studies at AUT, Graceland now enjoys working in the Adult Community Services department at the Auckland District Health Board.

“In this role I’m responsible for referrals, scheduling appointments, fleet management, operations management including purchasing and invoicing, and for organising meetings and taking minutes for our management and clinicians.”

She loves the variety of her role.

“I enjoy that I’m always learning and have discovered new details about the health system. I also like working alongside staff members who are genuine and so passionate about their work.”

Advice for other students
Graceland, who graduated from AUT at the end of 2019, has some great advice for other students.

“Choose a field and career that matches your passion and one you believe you'd enjoy. Aim high and do your best, but also be kind to yourself during your journey through university. Be a sponge and soak in all the learning and experiences while you’re at AUT. Always ask questions if you don’t understand; your lecturers are always happy to assist.”

Access the services available at AUT, she adds.

“There are free support services on all campuses if you ever need them, such as emotional support, financial support, academic support etc. I benefitted a lot from these services, so I suggest making the most of them as they're there for your benefit.

“Remember that your soft skills are just as important as your hard skills. I’d encourage you to learn more about these and participate in the AUT Edge Award while you’re at university. And, most importantly, make sure you enjoy your time at AUT.”

*The Health Administration major is now called Health Management.

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