The PKL Team


Evo Leota-Tupou holds a Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. She has been a Freelance Graphic Designer/Animator for 17+ years and has a huge passion for Pacific Kids’ Learning (PKL). Ideas for PKL developed after she had her first child in 2012. In 2014, she committed herself to doing something about the lack of digital resources for all Pacific children. In 2018, with the need to prove PKL’s vision, she received permission from The Melbourne Samoan Choir and animated 3 of their songs within a 6 month period – with no funding (all completed in her spare time, utilising royalty free illustrations and developing only the character illustrations for animation). A funding opportunity presented itself at the end of 2018 through the Ministry for Pacific Peoples in New Zealand and at the time, and while holidaying in Melbourne with her children, quickly drafted a proposal and sought the assistance of several Pacific organisations via email communication. She was very fortunate to receive the support of Siaola - A Tongan Vahefonua Methodist mission that helps the local Tongan community. This partnership enabled the creation of the very first Tongan Alphabet song animation.


Evo understands the need for impact when it comes to delivering the final project and the importance of having the right team on board. She also believes that the Pacific language learning resources developed should be made available either for free or at an affordable cost to teachers, families and especially the future of our 'knowledge-holders', our children.

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Theresa Tupuola-Sorenson holds a Masters degree in TESOL and has worked in International Education for 14 years. Theresa has completed 12 years teaching abroad, most recently in Seoul, South Korea as an Assistant Professor at Korea University, teaching Academic English while also working as a language proficiency examiner for several different universities. Now Theresa resides in Australia as the Assistant Director of Studies at an English language school in the Gold Coast. It is her theoretical foundation in language construction, materials and curriculum development, assessment methodology, classroom application and most importantly a depth of understanding of how children learn and retain language that will ensure that the PKL resources will create successful learning outcomes for young learners, their families and the wider community. Theresa has a deep seeded passion for community engagement and volunteers across several different organisations to promote global mobility through education. 

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Tatiana Marich-Tupou is PKL’s finance specialist, taking care of accounting and financial reporting. She has experience in both private and public sector, including time in Tonga as a project accountant for various aid donor funded projects and in NZ as a finance manager for a $45m turnover company, leading a team of six. She understands donor requirements for reliable financial reporting and follows IFRS.  She loves being involved with an organisation that promotes Kiwi born kids maintaining a connection with their Pacific heritage, including her own two children Oliver and Mila.

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Ali Cowley is an Auckland based animator, Illustrator and Director.

He has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has directed music videos and short animated films for corporate videos, developed content for the Play Kindly app and specialises in storyboarding and production design for animation and film.

He was an animation director on prime time animated show Bro’Town for four seasons and is currently working as an Art Tutor at Media Design School in the Gaming Department and is on the Pasifika Committee called “Vaega” as a Mentor to the Polynesian students. At his work, he’s currently researching ways to engage his Polynesian Community with new media as a career choice. He also successfully curated an art exhibition featuring Pasifika/Maori MDS Alumni in his home town of Mangere.

He was a participant in Script to Screen’s South Shorts Screenwriting initiative and has written a short film script which he is hoping to make in the near future.

He was a participant in the Loading Docs 2019 ‘Power’ collection and Directed Meet Munch Jr his first short documentary.

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Tui Leasi is an Elam School of Fine Arts graduate and will be contributing to PKL’s creative vision as a graphic artist. He is currently the Art Department Manager at Orora Packaging Solutions and brings with him a distinctive Pacific flair that will illuminate the pages and screens for many of our young readers.

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