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History in making: the first Non-samoan and the first Epsom girl student is the winner of the Leading category of the Samoan stage in 40 years of polyfest history

                                               Lina Lee - Winner of the Leading category - Samoan Stage

  Samoan group at Polyfest - Click here to watch the video


My name is Lina Lee and I have been privileged to perform next to 50 talented young girls from Epsom Girls and the strong bond we shared as a family is almost impossible to describe in words. We went through at least 20 hours of practice a week and more as it gradually came closer to the date of performance, but the worth of the exhausting practices is genuinely priceless as it became the highlight of each and every girl’s life during high school. We gained life-long friendships and matured as young ladies who learnt the importance of discipline, respect and most importantly the limitless potential that we carry as the future leaders of tomorrow.

I am absolutely speechless about the blessings that I was privileged to receive in terms of the compliments and recognitions hearing from all corners of the community. I cannot explain how much I loved learning more about the beautiful culture of the pacific and building connections with people of Samoa who hold the most heart warming nature.

It was the most humbling experience for me to show others that you don’t need the genetics to fully achieve your potential, as long as you carry the beating heart and adrenaline full of passion. There is no boundary that stops you from being the best of yourself, regardless of your skin colour, your background or any other stereotypes you may find yourself in.

I am extremely grateful for this honour which would not have been possible without the support and love from the group and the most incredible tutors of the Epsom Samoan group (Leki Bourke and Jewlz Sopoaga), who believe in an Asian to swim through the ocean of beautiful islanders. My sincere gratitude also goes to my wonderful samoan sisters, Madelyn Manu, Hope Tauia, Isabella Masani, Faye Faleafaga and Tarah Fepuleai, who stayed by my side during the entire journey that I was privileged to go on. Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to break the racial stereotype and enabling me to demonstrate the progressive cultural integration that we are lucky to embrace in New Zealand.

Lina Lee (Na Gyoung Lee) Epsom Girls Grammar

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