3rd-year student, Bachelor of Communication Studies in Screen Production
Now in the final year of her Bachelor of Communication Studies in Screen Production, Selu-Kian Faletoese plans to use her understanding of film and storytelling to make a positive impact.
“I’ve always had an innate passion and love for writing, storytelling and film since I was a child, especially because the craft and artistry of storytelling is such an integral part of Pacific cultures like my own.
“After I graduate, I’d love to be able to work for an independent film or production company that champions Māori and Pacific stories. I’ve also always had a passion for advocacy and community work, specifically targeted at uplifting and supporting marginalised communities, and my most recent role included working as a Youth Advisory member under the Village Collective to support Māori and Pacific LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF youth.”
Her passion for youth and community has already been recognised, and Selu-Kian was one of 25 inspirational young women on the YWCA’s Y25 list, which celebrates young women who are leading the way in fighting injustices.
Inspiration and support
The learning environment at AUT has been inspirational, says Selu-Kian whose studies have been supported by an Academic Excellence Scholarship and a Significant Student Scholarship from AUT, as well as scholarships from the First Foundation and Rainbow Youth.
“I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility and the variety of learning that I can choose to engage with. Being in my third year, I’ve had the opportunity to select a number of elective courses beyond my major which included the courses Performing Pacific Media and Indigenous Popular Culture, which are offered by Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development. To be able to study courses that are a true reflection of my cultural upbringing has been an absolute joy for me as a young Pacific woman.
“I’ve also been incredibly inspired by the students around me. They’ve become lifelong friends as their genuine passion for the degree enabled me to create creative partnerships I can see existing beyond university. This has been one of the many joys of being at AUT for the past couple of years”
But it hasn’t always been so easy, she admits, and adjusting to university life in her first year had its challenges.
“It was such an overwhelming experience and I felt quite out of my depth. However, I was lucky enough to go through the UniPrep programme at AUT, an initiative by the Oceanian Leadership Network. It supported me all the way through in terms of creating lifelong connections and support systems.”
Advice for other students
Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself, Selu-Kian advises other students.
“It might be uncomfortable or daunting at first, but I promise that it’s incredibly necessary for your own personal growth as a student and as an individual.”
She also has some specific advice for students who are considering studying communications.
“I think if you have a genuine passion for media fields or want to have a more critical and expansive view of the world around you, then this is definitely the programme for you. The Bachelor of Communication Studies is structured in a way you can experience the various majors that are offered, whether or not that is your intended pathway. This will ultimately provide you with knowledge and skills that will support you in the future.”