About Us

‘Ua tala mai e le lagi le mamalu o le Atua;‘ua fa‘aalia fo‘i e le vā nimonimo le galuega a ona ‘a‘ao. O lo‘o ta‘u atu le ‘upu e le tasi aso i le tasi aso,o lo‘o fa‘ailoa fo‘i le poto e le tasi po i le tasi po. E leai se gagana, e leai fo‘i ni ‘upu,e lē lagona o latou leo. ‘Ua o‘o atu lo latou leo i le lalolagi uma lava,ma a latou ‘upu i tulu‘iga o le atu laulau.

(Salamo 19:1-4)

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the earth.

(Psalm 19:1-4)

 Kororia ki te Atua, te Kaihanga o ngā mea katoa.

Glory to God, Creator of all things.

This was the first acknowledgment given in the original Pasifika Teacher Aide Handbook (PTAP, 2007). We continue to acknowledge and thank God for His blessings on our work.

Te Motu, Te Moana, Te Ao

The Island, The Ocean, The World

Evoking our relational past

Enacting our reciprocal present

Envisioning our transformational futures

Relational – Reciprocal – Transformational

“Ua tuʻu lā le vaʻatele” – “The vaʻatele has furled its sails”

A polite way of saying after a High Chief has spoken, that it is little use anyone else speaking. The one who uses the proverb may have a completely different opinion from that which has been expressed, but it is Sāmoan etiquette to begin his speech with this compliment.

Brown, G. (1861-1882).  Proverbs, phrases and similes of the Samoans. (Gifted to Va‘atele by Samuelu Tevita Si‘ilata)

This whakatauki highlights Va‘atele Education Consulting’s vision to see Pacific peoples themselves leading and developing their own culturally located solutions for Pacific Education in Aotearoa. Va‘atele Education Consulting (Va‘atele) derives its name from the pedagogical framework developed by Dr. Rae Si‘ilata in her PhD thesis in 2014. The va‘atele is the Samoan word for the double-hulled deep-sea canoe. The Va‘atele Framework compares the double hulls and the voyaging of the deep-sea canoe with Pasifika learners’ journey through the schooling system as bilingual/bicultural people. Ideally Pasifika ākonga/learners will be in school settings that support the development of their bilingualism, biliteracy and Pacific ways of being, enabling success not only in the ‘dominant culture’ world, but also in the cultural world of home and community.

As with a va‘atele, both hulls/va‘a (or languages, literacies, and cultures) should work in unity to ensure the safe passage of the people on board. The platform/fata connects the two hulls and holds the va‘atele together, enabling it to sail through any storm, to reach a desired destination (Si‘ilata, 2014). The actions of whānau, leaders and teachers are central to enabling Pacific young people to experience a system that validates, sustains and revitalises their languages, cultures and identities so that they can experience success as who they are. Va‘atele works collaboratively with early learning services and school communities to realise these envisioned futures by supporting effective leader and teacher practice in the present.

We co-develop research informed professional learning solutions that are nested in who we are as Māori and Pacific peoples. Centres, schools and their communities are supported to dismantle their colonised structures and processes, and to lead their own transformational system change. This system change enables our young people to envision a desired future, experiencing success as who they are, revitalised and strong in their languages, cultures, identities and collective wellbeing.

Rae chose the Samoan word for the double-hulled deep-sea canoe because unlike other ancient double-hulled canoes across the Pacific, the va‘atele had two hulls of equal length. The drua of Fiji, the Tongiaki of Tonga, and other ancient waka had two va‘a or hulls, with one hull being slightly longer than the other, and reportedly able to carry up to 250 people. The longer main hull could carry heavy loads; the shorter hull allowed manoeuvrability, thus functioning in much the same way as an outrigger. The va‘atele with its two hulls of equal length was not as manoeuvrable, but it was more stable. Our young people today need both to be nimble and secure in their educational journeying. Va‘atele does not journey alone, rather we journey together with one another, and with those we serve.