Graduations 2010 - 2017

Sermana Atu Graduation

Sermana Atu graduated as a Bachelor of Primary Education from the University of Notre Dame, Australia, at the Sydney Town Hall on 14 March, 2017.

Her son, William Humberstone, and her parents attended her graduation. Her partner Karl had to work but joined the group for her post graduation dinner at the Sealevel Restaurant, Cronulla. Missing also, but very proud brothers living in Queensland, were Tamiana (Tom) and Joseph (Jnr - Joey).

Sermana's journey took her over twenty years to achieve her goal. After finishing High School from All Hallows in Brisbane, she did two years at university before deciding to take a year off, which lasted over twenty plus years. Six years ago she decided to return to university. Raising a family, with a sixteen year old son, working part-time and studying part-time, she finally graduated—not an easy task but one which her parents, family and friends are so proud of.

Her parents, mother Patricia Atu (Baptiste) from Samarai, Milne Bay Province, PNG and her father Joe Atu from Pepjei, Rotuma, travelled from Brisbane to Sydney for her graduation.

Joe Atu's dad is Sam Atu, son of Hee (Pepjei) and Sautakepe (Hȧn ne Juju).
Joe's auntie Sermana built their home at Ista, Pepjei.

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Sef getting degree

Reverend Seforosa Carroll was awarded a PhD on Monday 14 December 2015 from Charles Sturt University. Her theses title was Making Room for the Religious Other, Reading Interfaith Dialogue and Encounters in the Australian Context From a Feminist Diasporic Perspective.

Seforosa's husband Ralph and daughter Sarah attended the graduation in Canberra with her namesake, Ravai, and Irvine O'Connor from Suva, Fiji.

Reverend Seforosa is currently employed by Uniting World as "Manager Pacific Church Partners." She also lectures at Charles Sturt University in cross cultural and interfaith subjects.

L-R: Irvine and Ravai O'Connor, Seforosa, Ralph and Sarah Carroll

Jokim Kitolelei

In March 2015 Jokim Veu Kitolelei graduated in Japan with a PhD in Fisheries Science at the age of 28. The title of his Phd thesis is: A study of Coastal Fisheries Management Systems in the Pacific Islands : Focus on the Functions of Communities. Jokim was a recipient of a Japanese government scholarship in 2009. He is now working in Kyoto, Japan with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature.

Jokim is the son of Aleksio Kitolelei (from Tuakoi), who was the first Rotuman ordained as a Catholic priest.

Jokim hopes that his accomplishment can provide motivation to Rotuman students.

Abstract of dissertation

Terry Fesaitu

On 19th May 2012, Terry Mataiasi Fesaitu, youngest son of Feskato‘a and Maria Fesaitu, graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgey from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. His graduation was attended by his mother and two brothers with family and friends from Fiji and NZ.

At a breakfast hosted by the Pacific Island Community for their graduands and families, Terry expressed appreciation for the prayers and support of the Otago PI Community, his family and relatives in Fiji and other parts of the world.

Terry also acknowledged the scholarship he received from the Fiji Government which enabled him to take up this programme of study.

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Ofa Dewes was awarded a PhD from the University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, on 22 September, 2011, for her thesis entitled: Obesity Prevention Among Pacific Adolescents: Is there a Role for the Church? Her thesis combined both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Based at the School of Population Health, Ofa is currently Research Fellow/Project Manager for Fanau FAB, a family-focused Food, Activity & Behaviour Programme for Pacific children aged 5-12 years and their parents/primary caregivers. Other research interests include health promotion, hearing health, health systems leadership and management, and ethnic-specific comparative studies among Pacific populations. For further information on Fanau FAB or the findings and recommendations of her thesis, email Ofa on:

Ofa is the eldest daughter of the late Milly Ama and Iakopo Susau Panapasa of Noatau, Rotuma, and is pictured here with her sons (L-R) Mark, Graham and Roydon.

Ofa Dewes and sons

For information about Dr. Dewes thesis click here

Lauren Elizabeth Murphy grandaughter of Faga and the late John Sagaitu formerly of Lautoka graduated cum laude in December 2010 with a batchelor of science, nursing, from Northern Michigan University. To the Northern "Wildcat" alalum - from baby steps to giant steps you've filled our hearts with joy.

Lauren w/parents
Joe, Lauren and Frances Murphy


Noritta Morseu-Diop was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, School of Social Work and Human Services, on 22 July, 2010 for her dissertation entitled:

Healing in Justice: An International Study of Indigenous Peoples' Custodial Experiences of Prison Rehabilitation Programs and the Impact on their Journey from Prison to Community

The graduation ceremony will be on the 13 December, 2010.

Noritta is a descendant of George Morseu, who was born in 1863 in Rotuma and died on 4 September 1912 in the Torres Strait, where he was also known as Sweeney Morseu, Rocky Rotumah or George Rotumah. He married a Murray Islands woman named Wazan, and had six children by her. Noritta is his great-granddaughter.

Noritta is the first Indigenous Australian to graduate from the School of Social Work and Human Services with a PhD and the first Torres Strait Islander woman, if not the first Torres Strait Islander, to graduate from the University of Queensland with a PhD in its 100 years of operation.

See University of Queensland News Release (13 December 2010)

Edmond Inia

In December 2009 Edmond Damien Inia graduated from the University of the South Pacific, Emulus Campus in Vila, Vanuatu with a Bachelors degree in Law Studies. In January to June 2010 Edmond completed six months at the University of the South Pacific in Suva doing a Post Diploma in Legal Practice and on 20 August 2010 Edmond was admitted to the BAR. Well done Edmond!

20 August 2010 was a memorable day for Edmond's family. Edmond was admitted to the BAR in Suva watched by his parents, Mua & Veu Inia; grandmothers Lily Erasito and Fagmanue Inia; aunty Vika Makrava (father's sister) and mapigas Fonmanu and Lily, who have played a major role in Edmond's childhood.

Born into a family of three, Edmond is the middle child. He has an older brother, Benuel, who is a graphics designer and a younger sister, Kristal, who is in class one at the Suva Christian Community School in Suva. The day started off in court at the Suva Government Buildings, followed by a dinner hosted by Edmond's parents for the immediate family and Edmond's close friends that same evening. Tears of joy were shed as Edmond took his oath in court and it was a very proud moment indeed for the family.