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Graduation a family affair for mother of five

Analena Siu and family

Analena Siu, pictured with husband John and children Jaqueline, Tupou, Rosalia, Latai and Sika.

Analena Siu calls the journey to recieving her Master of Aviation Management a “crazy, but achievable ride”. The Tongan mother of five certainly had a lot on her plate and she says, in the scheme of things, study was far from her top priority.

"As a mother I didn’t want my study to interfere with my children’s commitments and that was how I managed my study with a family of five,” she says. That meant always being there for school drop-offs and pick-ups and making regular trips to netball, touch rugby and rugby games, as well as ukulele, guitar and karate classes.

But don’t mistake this for a lack of commitment to her study.

“It was up to me to find the time to study and I found there was plenty of time,” Analena says. “While the children were at school, I used the free bus service to go to and from Massey. I was able to drop the kids at school and hop on the bus and, after four to five hours, I would hop on the bus to get back home to pick the kids up from school.

“I am thankful for the library’s late closing times. Because I didn’t have a laptop, often after dinner I would return to campus to use the computer in the library until closing time at 11:30pm.”

Setting simple goals

She says she set herself simple goals – to find time to read, to meet regularly with her supervisor, to keep writing and working, and to enjoy the journey.

“Although there were times when I thought the work was too much, I just kept typing and just kept working. When it was hard to find time to read, I would go to the campus library and read in the quiet zone there. I often joked that going to the library was like having a quick holiday because I found I was more relaxed away from the busyness of home.”

Analena says she’s “pure Massey through and through”, having also completed her undergraduate study at the University. She says, among the things she loves about Massey, is the support it offers Pasifika students and families.

“I met a lot of Pasifika students on campus and they have become good friends. Fale Pasifika is always open for students and there is a genuine care for diverse communities at Massey,” she says.

“And when my two primary school children had teacher-only days, I would take them with me to campus. They would run around the concourse and meet new friends and one time I had no choice but to take them with me to my meeting with my supervisor.”

Analena says she is thankful to her husband, John, for his “unlimited support”, her children for stepping up and doing so many chores around the house and her mother for advising her to pursue a master’s degree a decade ago.

A family celebration

She says graduation will definitely be a family affair.

“I think my children are anticipating graduation day more than I am. They have been asking, ‘When is graduation? What should I wear? Who is coming?’. I am thrilled that my children will be there to witness it.”

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