Fiji-born Viane Amato Ali with his award at New Zealand. He won the NZ Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest on Sunday at New Plymouth with his "My First (and last) Scuba Diving Experience" speech
A FIJI-born national now living in New Zealand has created history by scooping the first prize in a national public speaking contest in New Plymouth.
Viane Amato Ali won the New Zealand Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest in New Plymouth on Sunday.
He beat six other contestants with his "My First (and last) Scuba Diving Experience" speech.
A Toastmasters governor Myrna Contreras said Viane joined Toastmasters in 2009 with the (then North Shore Council) Takapuna-based Taka-Talkers Club and won the club, area and divisional competitions to qualify for the nationals this year.
"It is the first time a Pacific Islander has won the nationals and in such a short time," she said.
"His speech was based on his scuba diving lesson at Yadua Taba in Bua during his stint as the Director for the National Trust for Fiji and was well received by contest judges and most especially the audience."
Viane migrated to New Zealand in 2004 and works as an Area Spatial Planner for the newly created Auckland Council and is based in Takapuna on the North Shore.
"It has been an uncertain and traumatic period for Auckland Council workers but it is important to remain positive and create humor in our day-to-day lives," Viane said.
"I am truly humbled to be able to achieve this and in a way, this win is for all Pacific Islanders and fellow migrants with English as a second language and to prove that we can achieve in areas we have shied away from such as Toastmasters."