Ronnie Aiolupotea

Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Spectrum Management and Technical Services 
Master of Information Technology 2017 
Australia Awards recipient 2016

Ronnie Aiolupotea earned a Master of IT from the University of Newcastle and is putting his skills to good use in Samoa’s expanding digital economy. As the country continues to develop and progress its telecommunication capacities, Ronnie’s role is to manage spectrum allocations. By buying and controlling radio frequencies, Ronnie ensures that this communal resource is used responsibly for the good of the Samoan people. ‘The most important thing is that we take people’s views on board and make sure there is proper consultation, so people are aware of what’s going on,’ says Ronnie.

Ronnie is proud that he can provide a positive impact for the Samoan people on a national level, but it’s not something he would have had the courage to do before studying at the University of Newcastle. Through his education, he learned that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to do things, which has given him the confidence to try his best without the fear of failure.

Studying at the University of Newcastle opened up Ronnie’s perspective as he came into contact with many diverse cultures. After living with people from across the globe including Iran, the Philippines and Vietnam, his view of other people’s cultures, religions and worldviews developed. Living in a shared house, with twelve separate nationalities, Ronnie learned how to respect the differences between people while realising that, deep down, we are all the same.

A University of Newcastle degree is recognised not only in Australia and Samoa, but across the world, and it has given Ronnie many opportunities for work in the region.

For international students new to campus, Ronnie believes that joining clubs and societies is the best way to meet new people and navigate university life – which can be daunting. There are all kinds of activities to join in on and plenty of people willing to help.  He also recommends the world-class beaches as a great place to go after an exam to breathe in the fresh air and relax.

Ronnie gives his time as a Global Alumni Ambassador in the hope that more students are given a chance like he was. By giving back and promoting the University of Newcastle in Samoa, he ensures that more and more Samoans hear about opportunities that are open to them.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.