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Lily Ng

Tokelau

Bachelor of Communications, Certificate of Public Health 

Lily Ng with her mother and grandfather
Lily Ng with her mother and grandfather

After completing her Bachelor of Communication degree at Massey in 2016, Lily was employed full-time as a Communications Advisor with The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners when she became interested in learning more about public health and the health care sector. She did not come from a medical background and couldn’t afford to take time off work to study, but her role helped her gain a deeper understanding of our health care sector.

“From previous study, I knew Massey had a fantastic distance study programme that would allow me to continue working while making my way through the course content in my own time. I had a lot of support in my decision to start studying: my employers were very flexible around exam and contact course dates, they let me stay in the office after-hours to do my readings or assignments, and the Ministry of Health part-funded my studies.”

Lily’s studies has contributed to her career, providing new perspectives and a “greater confidence” in the work she produces. “It helped me grow my research skills and analytical thinking” she says. “Through that, I felt that I was able to gain a better insight into the wider goals of public health in our country.

Lily’s passion and desire for her studies have not only been influenced by her career, but her family as well. When she graduated in 2016, she was the first person in her immediate biological and whāngai family to attend university and graduate with a degree. Lily’s family has highlighted the importance of education and supported her studies from the beginning.

 “I think my parents in particular see further study as a way of obtaining different, and more, opportunities than they had access to as young people. As a young immigrant to New Zealand in the 1950s, my father had to begin working very early so never finished school or learned to read. My whāngai parents also weren’t able to finish their schooling; my dad was encouraged to take up technical training at an early age because he wasn’t perceived to be very scholarly (he had an undiagnosed eyesight problem), and my mum had to leave school early to care for her own mother, who was very ill.”

Lily says that her family’s experiences with schooling have really influenced the value they place on education. She is currently pursuing her education towards a Certificate in Public Health at Massey University and will graduate in 2021. Her achievements will not only be for her, but for her family too.

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