Bronwyn is the acting Manager for Widening Participation at Western Sydney University (WSU) and oversees a range of programs, including Fast Forward, First Foot Forward, Refugee New and Emerging Communities, and Pasifika Achievement To Higher Education. She has been at WSU for almost 12 years and leads the team responsible for starting the Australian Universities Pasifika Associations Conference in 2018.
Bronwyn Williams, Co-Chair
Bronwyn is an NZ-born Pacific woman; her mother hails from Avatele in Niue, and her father from Avarua and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. She attended the University of Auckland, graduating with a BA, MA (Hons) and MLit, and is currently studying for a PhD in Education at WSU. Her family is her biggest inspiration, and she is a proud mother to Makalaua, who she describes as a sincere and spirited young man.
Bronwyn champions the benefits of higher education for Pacific communities and encourages young people to pursue their tertiary goals. “My great passion is to see young people succeed”, she says. “It is enriching to watch those unsure of their post-school pathway find something they love and share that passion with others.”
Bronwyn’s involvement with APEN started while teaming up with Amanda Moors-Mailei for the Pacific Educators Australia Conference in 2021. After the event, it became evident to Bronwyn that APEN needed to come to fruition: “So many of the attendees felt strongly about building on the conference, which was immensely heart-warming.”
Bronwyn’s hope for APEN lies with those who teach our children: “Being part of an organisation that enriches Pacific students' journeys, through those who educate them is crucial in increasing their capacity to thrive in higher education”, she says. “There is so much strength in connecting and collaborating, and I hope APEN can meet this need because Pasifika educators in Australia desire the best for their students.”
Her advice for those working in education? “Love what you are doing”, she says. “There is great joy in teaching and being in a position that can uplift and empower others to realise their potential carries a lot of responsibility.”
Bronwyn adds: “It’s not an easy job [working in education] and you must find ways to navigate your institution’s and community’s expectations to ensure the best outcomes. So celebrate your triumphs, big or small, and know that there are many who wish you every success.”