Dilworth Old Boy Liam Ratana’s Successful Career in Journalism

Despite his successful career as a journalist, Dilworth Old Boy Liam Ratana from the Class of 2012 didn’t have a straight and narrow career path. Even though he knew he wanted to pursue further education, he was unsure what he wanted to study. When his father submitted their hapu’s Waitangi Tribunal claim, however, this sparked his interest in Law which led to him studying a Law and Arts conjoint degree at the University of Auckland for four years.

Something that really helped Liam through his four-year university journey was being the recipient of the Chenery Trust Award that he received at the 2012 Dilworth Senior Prizegiving. It’s a financial scholarship awarded to a student pursuing tertiary education.

“The Chenery Trust Award enabled me to confidently pursue tertiary education which has enhanced my life in many ways, both tangible and intangible. Receiving the award helped to alleviate some of my financial concerns when I left school and gave me a sense of financial security heading into university life”, said Liam.

Since partaking in university study, Liam has worked in a number of different roles in both New Zealand and Rarotonga. He started his career working at Maori Television, he then became an Editorial Assistant/Junior Writer at Bauer Media where he worked across Paperboy and Metro magazine. In 2018, he made the decision to move to Rarotonga where he worked as a Journalist for Cook Island News and started his own digital marketing agency, Native Media.

“I've realised there are a lot of amazing career options out there but it helps to have end goals and to think about what you need to do in order to achieve these. I've been fortunate enough to have done some amazing things since leaving Dilworth but a standout is starting my own company overseas at 22 years old and landing my first contract with that company”.

Since returning to New Zealand, Liam has worked as a Communications Specialist for Red Bull, a Multimedia Journalist for RE: News at TVNZ and has recently started as a Multimedia Journalist for NZME, specifically working for the Northern Advocate.

His career has led to some amazing opportunities including moderating the Red Bull Basement Competition where he travelled across New Zealand with some of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs and changemakers, travelling to Samoa to cover the Pacific Games for Cook Islands News and meeting pop star Sean Kingston whose concert he promoted in Rarotonga.

Liam Ratana with Sean Kingston in Rarotonga (left). Liam moderating the Red Bull Basement Competition (right). 

Liam is a true believer in the benefits of further academic study and thinks it’s important for young men to seek out further study opportunities.

“Further academic study helps to expand your knowledge on particular subjects. It also allows you to mix with like-minded individuals and in circles you might not have otherwise found yourself in. Besides the education, the experiences you have at university will undeniably contribute to shaping you into the men you will become”

Like most successful young people, Liam has had his fair share of criticism and people who have doubted his capabilities. His advice to young people is, “don't listen to people who say you can't do something. The same people who say you're incapable are the same ones who lack the courage to chase their own dreams. Believe in yourself, follow your heart, and never compromise your morals or beliefs for anyone”.

Liam attributes his emphasis on morals and values in his adult life, to his experience at Dilworth.

“Dilworth prepared me for life in so many different ways. I was taught how to be self-sufficient, how to treat others, but most importantly - I learnt to appreciate my worth and to stay true to my morals and values”.

His goal for the future is to one day own his own business again so that he can help local communities and those in need by providing employment, accommodation, and creating generational wealth. ​​

May 5, 2021