Women leading and influencing

Malia and Anita

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Lutuipalelei (Malia) Halaapiapi Vaka'uta

Master of Education (alumni)
University of Sydney

In her current role as a tutor at Tonga's nursing school, Malia is responsible for developing the school's curriculum and transitioning the nursing qualification from a diploma to a Bachelor in Nursing. Through her work as a nurse and previously as a college teacher, Malia has realised she is in a position of influence, and that not only her words affect her students but also her actions and way of being.

Malia intends to be an effective mentor for her students and to encourage Tongan nurses to be good role models of health, healthy lifestyles, and actively preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Malia is keen to promote and act on the notion that it is ineffective to have a nurse speak about the importance of diet and exercise while she is visibly unhealthy.


Anita George

Manager, Prevention, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC

Anita manages prevention at the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, a joint initiative of Cancer Council Victoria, the Union for International Cancer Control, and Cancer Council Australia. Her work focuses on international governance frameworks and legal and regulatory interventions for the prevention of NCDs and the interrelationship between NCD regulation, international trade and international investment law, human rights and sustainable development.

Anita also has practised as a human rights lawyer and as a consultant to the Health Policy Directorate of the OECD in Paris. She is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International's Policy Advisory Group, and she has collaboratively led training programs with international organisations (WHO, UNDP and the Pacific Community).