About Fonoifafo (Fono) McFarland-Seumanu
Apart from being a public health nurse for Kidz First - Community Health, Fono is also a community leader, Pacific youth advocate, foster mother of five tamariki and newly crowned Miss Samoa New Zealand.
Set to compete in the Miss Samoa Pageant in Apia, Samoa next month, she says the competition is more than just winning a crown.
Growing up in Otara, Fono wanted to be a cop, but taking part in the Health Science Academy at Tangaroa College, she decided to make the switch to nursing.
“The Health Science Academy exposed me to different health care professions. I was inspired by many nurses while doing my tertiary study, particularly my nursing mentor,” she says.
“Our people have the highest rate in all sorts of prevalent health issues; we’re at the top of the stats. No one really understands our struggles like our own people, so being born, bred and raised in Otara, I was exposed to those issues and wanted to make a positive difference in our people’s lives.”
Although being a community-based nurse and a beauty pageant seems worlds apart, for Fono, both roles align to serving her community and making a positive difference.