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The Pacific Health and Wellbeing Recipients at the Sunpix Pacific Peoples Awards 2023
Updates / News , 13 Nov 23
Last week, the Due Drop centre in South Auckland hosted the annual Sunpix Pacific Peoples Awards 2023, where 12 winners from six categories took the spotlight. In the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Award category, sponsored by Pasifika Futures (PFL), two individuals were honoured: Frank Hicks and Pale Sauni.

Hailing from Samoa, Mr Hicks established the community-led program ‘Make them proud,’ drawing from his personal experience navigating the family court system. The workshop aims to assist parents undergoing relationship dissolution, providing them with essential information to navigate the process without losing their connections with their children and loved ones.

Reflecting on the collaborative effort required, Mr Hicks stated, "It takes a village to be able to do this. No one person is strong enough or smart enough to do it on their own. You’ve got to do it with your villages." 

He expressed gratitude to PFL for acknowledging the significance of their community work, saying, "Thank you to Pasifika Futures for recognising the importance of what we do in the community."

Pale Sauni also hails from Samoa and is a qualified social worker, sportsman, and musician, was recognised for his dedication to exploring the intersection of spiritual and cultural aspects with physical, mental, and cultural well-being. Working within the community, Mr Sauni focuses on supporting learning opportunities for Pasifika and Maori.

Emphasising the importance of access to education, health, and wellbeing opportunities, Mr Sauni remarked, "We can have education, we can have health, we can have wellbeing, but if we don’t have access or an opportunity to have access, then I think we miss on all of those things." 

He finds satisfaction in providing opportunities through music, art, drama, and sport, creating spaces where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences.

Expressing gratitude for the award, Mr. Sauni conveyed, "Thank you Sunpix and Pasifika Futures. I feel so delighted receiving this award and recognition for health and wellbeing."

Congratulations to all the recipients of this year’s Sunpix Pacific Peoples Awards. Relive the evening here.