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Fiame Naomi Mata’afa


Inducted 2010

Receives this award in recognition of her public service to her people, particularly women and children in Western Samoa in promoting and advocating socio-economic and political equality.


Born in to a family of political and “ethnic’ leaders Fiame has used her traditional status, her education and political  position  to help bridge the gap between traditional and modern way of life for Samoan people. She was the first female Cabinet Minister of Western Samoa and is currently one of the longest serving Members of Parliament.

For fifteen years Fiame was the Minister of Education where she aimed to implement many of UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) goals, working all levels of education from early childhood education to mentoring and training young women in IT and business skills. In her role as Minister she sat on many international boards including UNESCO, The World Meteorological Organization and the YWCA, as well as local organizations such as the Samoan National Council of Women and the Inailau Women’s Leadership Network. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

After the 2006 elections she requested a change of portfolio and is now the Minister for Women, Community and Social Development; the Public Service Commission, the Remuneration Tribunal and the Office of the Ombudsman. In this role her Ministry offers political advice, social development sustainable economic development and local governance to communities throughout the country. 

During the inaugural student trip to Safotu in Savaii (2010) Fiame gathered together other Marsden Old girls living in Samoa to share their experiences of Marsden life with current students. 

Fiame’s wish is that “by 2015, despite missed deadlines thus far we will have achieved the set goals [EFA]. Our sub-region of small island states is working hard to hold up part of the sky through collaborative efforts….”