Nimo Meleisea

Nimo Meleisea

Booking Scheduler, Radiology Department, Middlemore Hospital
Graduate Certificate in Arts in Interpreting

Nimo Meleisea realised early on what a positive impact her knowledge of both Samoan and English can have on other people. Years later, interpreting has become an important part of her healthcare job.

“When I was a kid, an old man asked me if I was Samoan and I said yes. He asked me ‘Which bus do I catch to get to Manukau?’ and the moment I gave him the answer in Samoan, his face lit up. That memory has stayed with me ever since.

“It took a long time for me to do interpreting because at the time it wasn’t a profession yet. I’ve been working as a booking scheduler at the Radiology Department at Middlemore Hospital, and my work often asked me to interpret for Samoan patients. That’s when I knew that I needed to study interpreting. I enjoy knowing that a patient doesn’t have to cancel their appointment because of a language barrier, and I like seeing them walk away knowing that there are New Zealand born Samoans like me who are willing to help out.”

Choosing AUT
When she decided to study interpreting, Nimo soon found herself at AUT and studying a Graduate Certificate in Arts.

“I chose AUT because I knew other people who had studied there before and now I see them working as interpreters at Middlemore Hospital.”

She says she enjoyed the whole programme, from the lecturers to the content covered in classes and the interactions between the students.

“The lecturers taught in a way that I could easily understand while enjoying it at the same time. For example, the experiences they had as interpreters helped us know that we will go through the same experiences as well. The content was in depth but the language used made us understand it more, and I was learning something new in every class. We were able to see other classmates and interact with them even though it was taught online via Zoom. Even more exciting was to graduate with them at the end.

“I’ve already recommended the programme to others, and a few of my colleagues want to join the programme because we have a high demand for interpreters.”

Advice for other students
Nimo – who graduated from AUT at the end of 2023 – has some great advice for other students who are considering university study.

“Studying or getting a degree is hard work. But when you focus on the end goal then you know all of the sleepless nights, assignments, exams are worth it when you walk across that graduation stage.

“Do it for yourself first and then enjoy it when the village that helped you is celebrating you on graduation day.”