Tammy aims to bring technology to her village
Tammy Tuiloma still remembers a time when she used to pay one of the villagers 20 cents to watch television on her tiny island of Rotuma.
As a young child growing up in the tiny nation just off the coast of Fiji, Tammy knew nothing about computers let alone the internet.
“As far as I’m aware, there isn’t a computer in Rotuma and definitely no internet connection so I’m hoping I can be one of the first ones who can hook them up with that,” says Tammy.
Now the 20-year-old is determined to bring her village up to date with modern technology. And to do so, she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Computing Systems degree.
“It’s a big ask but one I’m really passionate about,” she says. “I’m really concerned about rural areas in Fiji that have very little experience with technology so setting them up with computer and internet selection is something I’m very determined to do.”
Tammy hopes to work as a network engineer when she returns to Fiji after her studies where she will be responsible for fixing any problems concerning computers from internet connection to laying cables and visiting villages who are having internet issues.
“The problem with islands like Fiji is that we were learning and talking about technology that was existing in other countries but not in Fiji. It wasn’t until I got here to New Zealand that I could see the things we could only study in theory back in Fiji.
“It’s amazing the things I’ve learnt so far studying here at Unitec, which I never thought I would before. I’m finding out about technology that I’ve never seen or used before and it never stops to amaze me. There’s no point in doing something you don’t like.”
Tammy says she is more interested in the hardware side of computing and the idea of being out in the field as opposed to sitting in an office.
With her new-found knowledge, Tammy hopes to connect outer villages in Fiji with more computers and the internet.
Seeing a need for more technicians, the Fijian government offered Tammy a scholarship to complete her studies in return for the much needed skills she will return to Fiji with.
With her two older brothers qualified computer programmers, Tammy says she never really took an interest in computing until after finishing high school.
“Accounting was my favourite subject at school but after a while I got tired of it and looked into other areas and so when they were looking for more computer technicians, I thought about giving it a go.
“Actually, my interest in computing shot up when I arrived here at Unitec because the technology here is so much more advanced to what we have back in Fiji,” Tammy refl
“Before that, I thought I would become a computer programmer like my brothers but I’m so glad I chose to do this. I’m really enjoying learning about all these new things.”
Tammy Tuiloma: Bringing skills back home.