My Pacific in 40 Years: Leaders admire Pacific students’ artwork

[Auckland, New Zealand] Pacific students’ artwork added a splash of colour to the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting held this week in Auckland, New Zealand.

Winning art work from the “Pacific Islands Forum 40th Anniversary Art Competition” with the theme “My Pacific in 40 Years” was on display at the Leaders’ meeting.

Primary and secondary school students from Forum Island Countries took part in the competition to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Islands Forum being celebrated this year.

“I congratulate the very talented young students from our island nations for their excellent work,” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

Using a variety of media, the artists portrayed perceptions of their present and future environments.

“Students did an excellent job of reflecting an acute awareness of their environment by utilising figurative, abstract, futurist, expressionist and traditional Pacific motifs,” said Mr Slade.

“Many of the images show challenges faced by our island nations with a focus on natural resources. Students have been astute in portraying the importance of respecting one’s environment and the benefits that can be reaped from communities working together.”

In reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Islands Forum, Mr Slade said: “We have had many successes, and we continue to tackle the challenges that remain. In reflecting on these past 40 years, I think it is only appropriate that we seek input from our youth in celebration of this important milestone. Thank you and well done to our Pacific students!”

Winning artists will each receive 40th Anniversary gift packs and art supplies, while their schools will receive $NZ300 for purchase of art materials.


For more information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer, Mue Bentley Fisher via email

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