Introducing our new Co-Director Pacific - Ms Soteria Ieremia

Mālō e lelei, Talofa lava, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Kia orana, Bula vinaka, Aloha, Ia Orana, Kia ora koutou

We are delighted to introduce you to Ms Soteria Ieremia (Vaie’e, Saoluafata, Lepea and Faleasiu) as our inaugural Co-Director Pacific. Soteria is the CEO of the Kudos Science Trust and Founder of Pacific-I Ltd based in Waikato.

Ms Ieremia has been a member of Pūtahi Manawa since its inception. She was a contributor to our successful Pūtahi Manawa | Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa NZ CoRE bid application in 2019 and has been an active member of our Pacific Leadership Team and outreach and education activities since the CoRE began in 2021. Soteria brings a wealth of experience in community science engagement, STEM related outreach, science communication and engaging Pacific communities. Soteria is most well known for her work with The Kudos Science Awards and the Science Spinners programs.

She has established both national and international networks and connections that are focused on delivering equity-based STEM education with an impressive network of scientists, researchers, academics and educators from Crown Research and Tertiary institutes, Ministry of Education, as well as private and public science and technology organisations such as, Kiwinet, Rocket Lab and the MedTech Research Network. Her experience is an ideal complement to the existing expertise within the Pūtahi Manawa Directorate to support the leadership into this next phase of the CoRE.

Soteria started in the role on Monday 17 June.

Message from Soteria:

“The mission of Pūtahi Manawa not only aligns well with my career experience and aspirations, fuelled also by my purpose and passion to serve our Pacific community, but it has also played a very personal role while growing up in Aotearoa. At the age of five my youngest brother was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever, sadly leading to RHD so I’ve experienced first-hand the struggles, fear and uncertainty within my own Pacific family.

“Coupled with my experience as a minority in the science, research and innovation space, through managing and delivering the purpose of the Kudos Science Trust, and the Waikato region’s science excellence awards has given me valuable insight on how to navigate New Zealand’s science and research eco-system. In particular, how to translate technical and complex science to lay audiences, media and high school students. My passion to share knowledge that empowers our vulnerable communities, in particular our Pacific and Māori aiga is what drives me to serve in this capacity.

“As Tangata Te Tiriti, I acknowledge Māori as Tangata Whenua and look forward to working in partnership to uphold all of our obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Pacific Peoples and Māori have had a long and enduring shared history that spans centuries and across the Pacific. Naturally, we will continue to work in partnership for heart health equity for our peoples, and for Aotearoa.“

Please join our Board, Co-Directors, Operations team and Pacific Leadership Team in giving Soteria a warm welcome to the Pūtahi Manawa aiga.

All the best,
Pūtahi Manawa