Faanimo Elisara-To'o

Bachelor of Applied Management (Business Transformation and Change) with Distinction (2017)

Administrator/Customer Service Officer, Otago Polytechnic

“Nimo” Elisara To’o is likely too humble to tell anyone this — but she has changed lives.

Widely  respected  within  her  church  and  heavily  involved  within  all  aspects  of  the  Pacific  Island  Community  in  Dunedin, Nimo  is a person who gives  tirelessly  to  her  community — in fact, to  anyone  who  may  need  help.

A board member of Pacific Trust Otago, Nimo is a Youth Pastor, Sunday School teacher, Counsellor and motivational speaker for NZ Assemblies of God Church. She is also a highly regarded advocate for youth and a skilled project  leader.

Nimo is also a Court Interpreter and Samoan Translator with the Ministry of Justice, an important role that has her involved in District and Family Court contexts.

An example of just one of the many community projects with which Nimo has been involved is  Project Real, which aimed to address issues of youth alcohol and substance as well as the flow-on effects of family issues.

Nimo’s work included addressing root causes of the problem. The results included a decrease in cases involving police and increased involvement from parents at school meetings and events. Such was its success, other community groups used the concepts and approaches for their own projects.

Nimo’s career includes the following highlights:
> 2014-present, Board member Pacific Trust Otago
> 2000-present, motivational speaker NZ Assemblies of God Church
> 1990-present, Youth Pastor and Counsellor NZ Assemblies of God Church
> 1999-present, Court Interpreter and Samoan Translator, Ministry of Justice, District and Family Courts