Truganina’s Morwenna Petaia first moved to Wyndham from Hawaii in 2003, then in 2005 moved to Samoa for nine years. While in Samoa, Morwenna worked with Samoan communitie,s helping them gain more access to clean water. She also found a love of writing and was a newspaper columnist for the Samoa Observer.
As a single mother, Morwenna worked full-time and undertook online studies to gain her Master of International and Community Development.
Upon returning to Wyndham in 2014, Morwenna began her own business that gave back to the Samoan community.
Measina Treasures of Samoa was has grown from an online store selling products made by Samoans to a blog about all things Samoan and a culture-specific education program that opens discussions about unconscious bias while teaching about Samoan culture.
Morwenna has also been a freelance writer and researcher since 2014, and holds a post graduate certificate in Marketing.
What do you like most about Truganina?
I love that Truganina is so multicultural. Being able to interact with people of different cultures and learning about them is something that I really enjoy.
Do you have a favourite place in Wyndham to get coffee or grab a meal?
I love going to Jock and Mack (in Hoppers Crossing) to eat. They have amazing and friendly staff and their food is delicious.
Tell me about your volunteering and community work.
I was the vice president, for a few years, for the Truganina Community Group and we helped to make Truganina look better through tree planting as well as trying to bring the community together. The group needs new members so if there are any willing to volunteer, message on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Truganinacg/). I am a Wyndham City Council Cultural Diversity Portfolio Committee member. I am the vice president for Pacific Connections and we are planning our third Pacific Connections Expo in October.
Do you find there are a lot of people from Samoa, or a Samoan background, who live in the Wyndham area?
Wyndham has the second highest number of Pacific people in Victoria. Many of them are of Samoan descent. The Pacific community has a lot to offer in terms of unity, culture and experience.
Can you tell me a bit about your business?
Measina Treasures of Samoa gives back to the Samoan community by selling products made by Samoans, promoting Samoan businesses in our blogs and offering educational programs sharing Samoan culture.