Is it a good time to be a Samoan?
I think it goes without saying, but I hope you’ll forgive us. I have always believed in the benefits of the Samoan lifestyle and all it has done for us. We love the beach, the culture, the culture, it has made us the best people we can be. I’m not saying that to be cocky or something. It’s just how I am. I’m not the baddest Samoan out there, but I’m good in many other ways. I’ve always been a big supporter of youth development, I’ve always been a big supporter of the school system. Now we have a little bit of an emphasis in school that is great for Samoan kids, and I love that.
One of the things we have done in recent times is start a company that helps the schools to have more resources in terms of their recruitment and retention programmes. Some schools are now looking so much at sports stars that they can’t even get their own coaches from overseas, and their coaching staffs who are from the Philippines (where Samoans make up 3% of the population) are being brought in to help the coaches, and they are becoming more and more integrated into the overall student population. That’s one way to get more Samoans in schools so we can help.
As a matter of fact, one of our companies that we’re working with has been working with several schools which are going back and forth with the government on a few different programs which are helping schools to attract their own staff and coaches, and we can also help schools and coaches. So a lot of programs are happening now, I just hope that in the not-too-distant future we will be seeing more students from Samoan families coming to Australia, because I think that they will be going to better schools, with better programs, and with a more balanced mix and balance. I think it will help in getting those kids out of the schools in South East Asia who may be going to the USA or Canada.
Why do you think Dean’s Samoans are such a polarising part of the Samoan population?
Well that’s something you ask all young Samoan people. They’ll either tell you they’re very friendly and welcoming and respectful, or they may say a bit differently. We definitely believe that we have a much wider group of people who really appreciate us, who really appreciate the culture and why we do what we do, but
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