Talking about future aspirations with family members

Do you talk about your dreams or career goals with your parents or other family members?

The people featured on this website had various experiences discussing their ambitions with their families. Some people’s parents were very supportive of their dreams, while others were a little sceptical or unsure.

However, as Fipe, the first speaker in the video below said, parents and elders are usually trying to guide their children as best they can.

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Since you first served your first iputi, your first cup of tea, and you got told off that there’s a chip in the cup. That there is a chip in that cup and you got to send it back, and you got to make it again and it better not come out with the tide out, and it better not…you are being critiqued. It may feel like you’re getting told off in front of everyone.

And as a young person in Pacific Island families, we are publicly critiqued which…guided, publicly guided is a nicer way of saying it. But we’re publicly given feedback by all our relo’s at once. And it’s hard to not take that personal. But it also can give you amazing guidance and a level of excellence for when you go out and you find work. And you want to make sure that you show up 150% with the right cup, and the right attitude, and the right amount of tea with the right hotness and everything like that.

So there’s a lot of things that our parents and our elders have actually passed down to us that at times we felt like we were just being told off, but they’re trying to guide us.


My father’s father was a police officer in Fiji. My Dad would always say that, “Oh, if we were still in Fiji, I’d be a cop.” So I think it was really just like implanted to me at a young age. My Dad’s younger brother was a police officer in Fiji, and my father would always talk about being a cop in Fiji, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and I think it was always just in my head like, “That’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to be.” I think in the background of that, I was like, “Oh, a nurse would be okay as well.” But I also had that mindset of, “Oh, I don’t want to wipe people’s bums all day. Like, that’s gross.”

But so yeah, I always had that in the back of my mind, and when…I guess being an Islander kid you always want to make the parents proud and stuff, and so when I had mentioned it to my Dad, he was over the moon. You know I would have been 17 at the time, “Yeah, this is what I want to do.” Like he was absolutely rapt that I wanted to be a cop. So yeah, that’s what made me do that, and then obviously as I’ve mentioned, failed the BMI test. I guess that really kind of opened my eyes up in terms of career paths, and like, “What else can I do that’s not going to discriminate me against like my body fat?”

So that’s where the nursing thing came into play, and at the start of it, my parents were like, “Oh.” I wouldn’t say they were against it, but they questioned it. My Dad was like, “What about a police officer? Like what about that? Like are you going to go back and do that?” And I was like, “Probably not. I think I like this nursing pathway.” I had become really happy with it. My Mum, to start with, was like, her first thing she said to me was “Why? Why do you want to be a nurse? Everyone’s a nurse. Why won’t you go study something different?” And I don’t know if that comes down to I guess they’ll…and this is my, no, a thing like I’m trying to bag out my parents, but I don’t know if that was like I guess their lack of understanding or like the bigger picture of the nursing world and the opportunities it brings, but that was my mum’s first, like “Why?”

I don’t know, but I think they were very different to when they came to my graduation and saw me get my certificate and saw me put on my scrubs for the first day and start at the practice in the clinical setting, but now that they look back on it, I think they’re like “Oh, yeah. It makes sense now,” because they see the opportunities this job brings, and even if I don’t stay a nurse for the rest of my life, there’s other things I can work on from this baseline Bachelor’s degree.


For myself, I chose a career in engineering, was more to do with, I really enjoyed maths and problem solving, so that was a big part of why I decided to do engineering because it opened up so many doors. I do have to say the airport was a really big attraction to me. We used to go there a lot growing up obviously to welcome people from overseas. You go there a lot when you got family coming from Tonga. And I do remember going there so many times and you get these airport keyring photos, ever since I was little and I still got those.

So naturally I was kind of drawn into okay, engineering, mechanical seems pretty interesting. And we shared some same subjects at uni with aviation aerospace students. So I got some exposure to that. But I just enjoyed problem solving and maths, hence why that drew me to that field. I do have to admit, when I told my Dad he was not happy that I was choosing to follow engineering only because in a Tongan way, my father’s mind is like engineers are like mechanics, if you’re an engineer, you’re a mechanic. In Tonga, it’s like, “Oh, you want to work…” It’s kind of a dirty industry, you got to be dirty all the time and working with tools. So my Dad didn’t really quite understand until I started uni and then he just said, “Oh, okay, well, it seems like…” I just explained to him, there’s other things you can do, it’s not just being a mechanic. You can be a designer or you can work even in project management if you want. So just slowly Dad was like, “Okay, sure. You want to be an engineer, I don’t know what that is exactly, but go for it.”.

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