Gyllian Falute Taei

Gyllian Falute Taei

Co-Founder, Sue Taei Ocean Fellowship
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations

She loves the community her work helps to create, says Gyllian Falute Taei who is one founders of the Sue Taei Ocean Fellowship, which supports Pacific women in implementing ocean-based projects and finding indigenous-supported climate solutions.

“I’ve travelled to conferences globally to support carbon credit and carbon offset projects that are indigenous-led, which is a huge achievement for the projects as they are some of the first ever indigenous-led initiatives ever within the carbon and climate change space. I’ve achieved some really incredible milestones with even more incredible communities, most of them being minority or indigenous communities.

“My role involves a lot of team management, fellow management, fundraising, communications, relationship management and everything in between. I enjoy the community we’re creating. It’s a community that experiences a lot of hurt due to climate change, but it’s also a community that shares indigenous love in the face of adversity.”

As someone who is passionate about social impact, Gyllian says her work at the Sue Taei Ocean Fellowship isn’t the only thing she is particularly proud of.

“My favourite heart project was the Share the Elevator podcast; an idea back in 2021 with my first job and our sponsor, Tāmaki Makaurau YWCA. Brown women’s stories are stories that need to be told, so that they feel heard, the right people hear them and those that come after us understand the realities of being brown and a woman in any space that was not traditionally built for them. Our guests speak about their experiences so that those that come after us learn from it, so that navigating these spaces is easier, so that we can continue tearing down walls of discrimination for our people.”

The right choice
A key step on Gyllian’s journey to where she is now was enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Communication Studies.

“I chose to study a Bachelor of Communication Studies at a time when I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do with my life. When coming across what AUT offered in its communications degree, the broadness of the course was what enticed me to give it a try.

“I went into the degree thinking ‘If I have this qualification, I can work in any industry because every industry needs good communications’. It wasn’t until I was a year in that I realised that the degree is incredibly intentional when it comes to ethical communications. It enabled us to not only question the media that surrounds us daily, but also consider societal development and other issues.”

There were lots of highlights throughout her time at AUT.

“Besides getting to learn and open up my perspective to new ways of thinking, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my classmates, and their ‘why’ and what they hoped to do with their degree.”

Advice for other students
Gyllian, who graduated from AUT in 2020, has some great advice for other students.

“Prioritise love in every aspect of your life; even in your career. Do what you love and are passionate about. If you’re unsure as to what that is, then lean into whatever sparks your interest and take your time with it.

“Great things take time and in the moments you’re practising patience, enjoy life and everything it offers with the people, environments and oceans you love and that love you.”

More about Gyllian and her work