Tammy aims to bring tech­nol­ogy to her vil­lage

Auckland City Harbour News - - Education & Training -

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.

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