Our New Digital Communications Specialist
Introducing Gyllian Falute Taei
Where did you grow up and what’s your best memory of that place
I grew up on my small island, Samoa. Growing up in Samoa will probably be the best life experience I will ever have. Now that I’m older I’ve realised that being able to grow up in my culture and right next to the beach was a privilege, a privilege that I took for granted now that I live in bi-polar Auckland. My best memory is probably Sunday to’onai (lunch) with my family at the beach, nothing compares to how my family makes me feel.
If you could give your younger self (aged 18 or 21) some advice what would it be?
As a 21 year old, the advice I would give to my 18 year old self would be - it is what it is, don’t try to control things that you can’t. At the end of the day the only thing you can control is how you feel and what you put your energy towards, be sad, happy, mad or whatever you feel towards the situation and sit in those feelings for a while. Then accept it for what it is, learn from it and move on, because it is what it is.
What would you like to see changed, for the better, for all women?
The change I want for women is for everything to be fair. Fair in the sense that our needs, wants and what we do is accepted and praised the way mens are - in a social, political and cultural sense. Especially for indigenous women. I still struggle to understand why sexism and racism are concepts. I mean, I understand why they are and how they came to be but still - make it make sense.
Can you share a time or moment when you felt unstoppable/invincible/on fire (and why)?
A time I felt unstoppable would be all the times I get into political/ cultural discussions with my Dad. My Dad is a big Samoan man who had a very different and difficult upbringing to most. He grew up in a 4 bedroom house with 11 siblings, in our small village Moata’a. You can imagine that our perspectives are rarely ever aligned. However, at the end of it I educate my Dad but weirdly, sometimes he is also right? Our relationship has really grown since I was 14, it’s been a journey. But it was all worth it to see how he treats my little sister, who is just as opinionated as me. Except now he knows all the right things to say and how to say it.
Can you tell us why you joined the Y?
I joined the Y because I desperately needed/ wanted a job. However, since joining and starting to be part of all the projects that are rolling out for 2021, I’ve realised I’m where I need to be. The Y has a small but strong team that are just as opinionated as me and want the best outcomes for young women. Their projects are built to support young women who need it. They do so much/ have so much planned but are struggling to engage with young women, which is why I guess they hired me. I still can’t believe they hired me but hey, I’m grateful - cheeehoooo xx