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MEET THE TEAM: 5 Minutes with Malia

Tell us about yourself and how you found yourself part of Neighbourhood:

Hello, my name is Malia and I am part of the NBHD creative team! I've just finished a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, and I’m currently in the process of figuring out what I would like to do for a career! I feel I could explore so many different avenues as I have a passion for people, and also really enjoy anything related to art and design. So it will be exciting to see where I end up!

I found myself at Neighbourhood as I wanted to actively be a part of an organisation that uplifted others and gave a voice to those who are struggling. It is extremely important that we don’t shy away from what is not often said. I want others to find strength in their own voice.

What is a cause/issue/movement that you feel passionately about?

I feel very passionate about men’s mental health and sucide prevention. No one should ever have to feel that alone, and no one should ever have to lose a loved one. Not only do we need to break down barriers and be able to talk openly about our mental health but there needs to be widespread action and events.

I also feel strongly about raising awareness for PTSD, grief and physical and/or emotional abuse. These have a tendency to creep into your everyday life, isolating you and sometimes you can live with it for so long that you are unaware as to what is happening. So to talk about these issues openly could save someone, and shed a light on the areas of life that we don’t often want to look at. Yet we need to address these issues in order to heal, and for others to know they are not alone.

Who or what has influenced you the most?

My mum has influenced me the most. She is a picture of resilience and has always done her best to provide for my siblings and I. My siblings have also been such an amazing support.

If someone I love is down, I cheer them up by…

One of my favourite ways to cheer someone up is to take them out for a coffee, and drink them while walking and talking along the beach. I also ensure that they know I am here if they want to do something else to take their mind off of the issue, or if they need someone to listen.

Somewhere that you’ve never been to in Aotearoa that you’d like to visit?

I would absolutely love to go to Milford Sound!

Queen Charlotte Sound, one of my favourite places in NZ.

Something that relaxes me when I’m feeling stressed is..

I love to crochet or go for a walk if I’m feeling like I need to unwind. However, if I'm feeling anxious a good workout always makes me feel better.

What is something you’re grateful for?

I’m really grateful for my family, my partner and friends. I’m also pretty grateful for sunny weather.

Do you have any strange and completely irrational fears?

I have a lot of strange and irrational fears. There are some heavy ones, but on a more lighthearted note, I have a fear of snakes! Even though we don’t have any in New Zealand, a picture of a snake is enough to make my skin crawl.

Our flat cat Salem who has half a tail but makes up for it in cuddles!

Describe yourself in three words:

Smiley, friendly, awkward.

My idea of heaven is…

I love going to the beach and reading a good fiction book or listening to a podcast, and feeling the sun on my skin.

What is something you’re excited about at the moment?

I’m excited to see where I end up over the next year or so. I’m also excited for when the world opens up again and I can travel.

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