History

The network was initiated in May/June/July 1995 as part of Patisepa Tuafuti's Advisory work through two developments.  The development of a  Samoan Bilingual Unit Teachers' Support Group in May/June 1995 to support the TAIALA Bilingual Unit at Finlayson Park School Manurewa, and the development of the Mangere Samoan community, through the MOE Schooling in Mangere project from July to November 

1995. 
Faimai Tuimauga was the key supporter and assistant facilitator of the MOE project which made a huge impact on the Samoan community development and school/parent partnership. Nora Ioapo and the principal Shirley Maihi who asked for a support group to assist the development and blessing of their Unit which started in their school through collecting resources and visits to and from other bilingual unit teachers. In February 1996, "O Le Taiala" Bilingual Unit was officially opened and blessed by Reverend Field. 
These two developments could not have been successfully developed without the huge support from Faimai Tuimauga, Shirley Maihi, Nora Ioapo, and other Samoan bilingual unit teachers and the Advisory Service. 
The core of the association was planted and nurtured through school/community partnership using the Bottom Up Approach of developmental process, which is evidenced in the association growth both in number and knowledge, in terms of qualifications and professionalism. 
The group was then called the Samoan language and bilingual unit teachers' network, from Aoga Amata to secondary. There was no funding for the group to operate therefore, workshops were usually conducted during weekends and school holidays, at school halls, classrooms and the Advisory Service, all free of charge. There was no executive board. Every member had a responsibility to make sure the group was organised and functioned within a non-threatening and supportive manner, in order to achieve set goals and objectives. The group changed its name to Ulimasao in 1998 
The initial five-year (1995-2000) strategic plan guided our work. Because of the network's nature and structure, the effectiveness of its work and members' professional growth was observable. 

1998
Ulimasao held a Celebration event 
The theme was "The Importance of First Language Literacy for Academic Development." 
This was held at Malaeola Community hall in Mangere. 
The two key speakers of this celebration were Dr. Fanaafi Le Tagaloa, Ph.D. on Education and Applied Linguistics, University of London and John McCaffery Senior lecturer of Language & Languages, ACE and specialist in Bilingual Education. 
1998 also was the CLESOL conference in Palmerston, in which Patisepa had a presentation based on her research on the Dual Medium model, separating the two languages Samoan/English by time. 
2000
Most of Ulimasao traveled to Samoa for the Fagasa conference held at Papaigalagala, National University of Samoa. Saili and Sonya presented a workshop based on Dual Medium model separating the two languages, Samoan/English by person. 
This was also a reflection year and Ulimasao evaluated its five-year strategic plan. The association have achieved most of its set goals. A strategic planning session was organised to be held in February 2001 
2001
Ulimasao continued to meet to oragnise its two-year strategic plan. Free workshops for teachers is an on-going goal. A great year for one of Ulimasao members. Faimai Tuimauga won a Macquarie University contract to work in Samoa with professors and educators from Macquarie University, Sydney NSW. 
Sonya was closing speaker at the Fagasa Conference held in Palmerston. She was supported by Patisepa, Saili and Malo.
This year was also the year when an idea for a website was explored. It was also the year when the association became registered and an executive committee were selected. 
* Our President: Peresia Talataina , Vice President: Nora Ioapo, 
* Secretary: Saili Aukuso, Vice Secretary:Tuu Bell, 
* Treasurer: Fuifui Teevale, 
* Education advisers: Faimai Tuimauga and Patisepa Tuafuti. 
* Webmaster: Sonya Van schaijik
October, Ulimasao first met as a planning team for the October 2002 conference.
2002
Ulimasao met 1x month as a planning team for the Pasifika Bilingual Education Conference
Then they met weekly from August.
Our website was built by Sonya Van Schaijik, with email input from members of Ulimasao and launched live in March via Geocities.
After consultation with Lesieli Tongatio and TKI, TKi agreed to host our site. TKI took over hosting just prior to the October conference. Our website  continues to be a work in progress and has grown.
In October Ulimasao hosted the first Pasifika Bilingual Education Conference.
Feedback from delegates was positive. Ateendees received a lot of information and sharing.
We make a special mention of our wonderful sponsors, whom we gratefully thank for all their support. 
2003
We had great sadness early in 2003 as we were instructed to pull our site down from TKI.
So we went back to being with geocities, while we replanned our direction.
2003 was an interesting year in that Ulimasao, were exhausted from the conference.
We had a few meetings and watched the fruits of our labours.
This was the year that several of our members presented at the Lead conference in Waikato.
Nora, Saili, John and Patisepa together with Shirley Maihi and Leslie and with the parents and students from Findalayson Park school.
Pati and Sonya also presented.
We were privledged to meet Tove, Courtney, 
2004
It was time to replan direction. Our community have asked for another conference.
In March we were fortunate to find a kind host who agreed to host us.
In April our website was sent live under our own domain name of ULIMASAO.
It took until August to reupload and tidy it.
It brought benefits in that we could also advertise the website in education areas, and could be linked to as we did not have the adverstising we had from Geocities.
Executive 2004
* Our President: Fuifui Teevale, Vice President: Faimai Tuimauga
* Secretary: Patisepa Tuafuti, Vice Secretary:Sonya Van Schaijik 
* Treasurer:Malo Sepuloni, 
* Education advisers: John McCaffery 
* Webmaster: Sonya Van Schaijik
Patisepa, Saili and Sonya presented at the Fagasa confernec in Hawaii.
This is the year that Patisepa has been invited to present at the CLESOL conference as a plenary speaker.
2005
Again Ulimasao, took up the challenge to plan another conference.
This time, to be held in Samoa.
Our teams were coordinated.
Together we spent the year planning and fundraising for Samoa.
Our president set our budget goals and we worked hard
By September we had enough money, goods and services to go a ahead.
The focus of the conference was to:
* celebrate success stories and achievements of students from Pasifika Bilingual Education Units in Aotearoa/NZ 
* share the integration of Pasifika language/culture, traditional beliefs and values with the modern system of education 
* build understanding and networking between Pasifika parents/communities and Bilingual Education professors and educators 
* empower Pasifika parents/communities to be actively involved in the education of their children 
* empower all Pasifika teachers and educators to do professional development in the field of Bilingual Education, language teaching/learning 
The venue was Maota o Samoa, Vaitele in Samoa.
Plenary Speakers included:
Professor Stephen May, the foundation professor and Chair of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Aiono Dr. Fanaafi Le Tagaloa from Samoa.
Dr Lonise Tanielu, from New Zealand.
The right honourable Tautapilimai Levaopolo Tupae Esera, the Chief Executive Officer for Education, Sports 
and Culture Ministry for the Samoan government.
Our Master of Ceremony was Teleiai Edwin Puni from New Zealand.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to our wonderful sponsors and supporters who helped make the conference succesful.
For our highlights you can visit the link to see some of them.

2006
We were sad to farewell Fuifui and Roberta, who returned to Samoa to attend Malua Theological college.
We elected our new executive,
* Our President:Taupau Olofa , Vice President: Faapaia Fuailelagi Wilson 
* Secretary: Filimanaia Akata Galuvao , Vice Secretary: Anita Lealaiauloto 
* Treasurer: Laepa Sililoto-Malele, 
* Education advisers: John McCaffery, Patisepa (Pati) Tuafuti, Aufaga Faimai Tuimauga
* Webmaster: Sonya Van Schaijik
The team met early in 2006 to revise the constitution, and discuss the strategic plan.

2010
Ulimasao formed Bilingual Leo Coalition.
This was to again raise awareness about Bilingual Education in Aotearoa.




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