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Old Collegian Albert Vete Visits College

June 23, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Former Junior Warrior, Junior Kiwi, NSW Cup Team player and Old Collegian Albert Vete paid a visit to the College recently to talk on the importance that the cultural group played in his life while he was a student. The group is now being reformed and has a strong aggregate of members who stem from the approximate 130 Maori and Pacific Island families at the school.

The cultural group was first set up in 2007 by Head of Drama, Ms Emma Bishop to give those students from a Maori and Pacific Island descent a place to come together to help them realise their identity within the College. Running for a few years before disestablishing, the group met once a week to share traditional lunches, listen to visiting guest speakers and learn cultural dances and songs to perform to their families at the College’s FiaFia Cultural nights.

At the relaxed get together this week, the students shared an Island style lunch before listening to ‘Albie’ reflect on his time at the College. His strong message to the junior and senior students was to focus on their studies and to always do what makes them happy. He said the cultural group was a special place for him where he felt a sense of belonging and who became like family. Looking at himself as a young Year 10, he highlighted the enormous benefits and support that his mentor gave him as a role model and was able to give this back when he became a mentor in his senior years. The re-established group now has plans to set the mentoring programme up between the younger and older students once more.  

After captaining the 1st XV and leading the team to victory in the Auckland competition, Albert was scouted by the Warriors during his final year at school in 2011, switching codes from rugby union to league. He explained to the students that as well as having a successful sporting career, it is equally as important to have an alternative option to fall back on. He now plays in the Reserve Grade in the NSW Cup team, and is in his third year of a four year Bachelor of Physical Education degree at the University of Auckland. After completing his tertiary studies, his plans for the future are to become a PE teacher and he hopes that this will lead him on to other sporting opportunities.

Plenty of time was allowed for questions from the students, and many focussed around Albert’s experience on juggling the high demands of school work and pursuing a professional sporting career. He was able to offer sage advice on unexpected injuries and upsets along the way, encouraging the students to finish their rehabilitation and to look after themselves because ‘if you work hard the results will come.’ When asked how his day was going, Albert told the students that morning he had been out in Henderson reading stories to school children for ‘League for Libraries’, an initiative that aims to improve the literacy levels among primary school children and make reading fun and enjoyable.

The cultural group will have their first performance as a reunited group at a full school assembly in Term 3 and are currently looking for further performing opportunities. Please contact Ms Emma Bishop for further information.

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