Alumni Integral to the First Foundation family

03-Sep-2019

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Since coming on-board at the First Foundation earlier this year, Alumni Programme Manager Eddie Tuiavii has been continuously impressed and inspired by former Scholars who are now working in wide and diverse environments.   

“We have First Foundation alumni working in the public sector in Wellington, local government in Auckland, education in Gisborne, the foreign service in the Cook Islands, and the first alumnus to graduate from Harvard with a Master of Public Policy - to cite a few of many awesome examples,” Eddie says. 

The former First Foundation Scholar (Class of 2007) has spent this year connecting with fellow alumni from the first year of the Scholarship programme up until now, although he is still yet to find an alumna from 1998, he adds.  Alumni are positive and relatable role models within the First Foundation family and so Eddie has begun inviting the alumni along to information evenings, workshops and other outreach events.  “This has been both exciting and beneficial for current scholarship students. 

“Our alumni are the product of an inspiring four-year journey with First Foundation and are well on their way to becoming successful, inspiring and boundary-spanning leaders in their chosen field…not only are they role models for our current Scholars but they provide First Foundation with valuable feedback and support.” 

This unique group of people also offer an extension of the wraparound support First Foundation is renowned for, through mentoring and providing networking opportunities for current Scholars, while also inspiring them often, to keep striving for success and achievement, Eddie adds. 

In the early days of the organisation, First Foundation Founder Steven Carden envisioned that eventually, alumni would run the Foundation.  

“That vision was true then and is now beginning to become a reality,” Eddie says. 

“Take me for instance, the first alumnus to return and work for the Foundation, and in the position created specifically for alumni engagement - you just can't script this stuff. 

“Short of directly running the Foundation, alumni have an important and unique role to play in sharing their successes and the role First Foundation has had to play in supporting them to achieve these successes.”  After attending the University of Auckland, where he completed his Master of Public Policy, Eddie has since become the face of the University of Auckland's Public Policy Programme. 

His expertise spans political studies, sociology, education reform and critical thinking and along with working at First Foundation, Eddie works closely with the Resource Management Act as a Senior Hearings Advisor at Auckland Council.  

The ever positive and go-getter likes to live by his late grandmother’s motto of, “Do it right in the first place, or don't do it at all," and this is the attitude Eddie has taken into his new role at First Foundation.  “I am finding my time here inspiring, exciting, fun and engaging,” he says. 

“I've always been a strong proponent of giving back to my community through service, and my work for the First Foundation provides a great platform to engage meaningfully with people and be continually motivated by the awesome success stories. 

“Needless to say, the Scholars are high-achievers, the alumni are trailblazing, our business partners extremely passionate, and of course the First Foundation team is a brilliant bunch.” 
A huge fan of face to face chats, food and belly laughs, Eddie encourages former first Foundation Scholars to drop him an email, flick him a text or connect with him via social media, and to get involved with the growing alumni which is such an integral part of the organisation. 

Are you apart of our Alumni and want to get in touch? Contact Eddie – Mobile: +64 21 841 990 or Email: eddie.tuiavii@firstfoundation.org.nz. Visit First Foundation for more information.