Mata Simpson by Gillian Perano
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Mata Samatua who won the first ever online District 72 Toastmasters International Speech Contest 2020 with her speech "My Inner Dialogue".
Mata was born in Rarotonga and has been in New Zealand for some years and works as a Counsellor in Christchurch.
Following an introduction through a friend and through her own curiosity Mata took the first steps to becoming involved in Toastmasters and it is now nine months since her involvement,where she has learnt to help herself and encourage others.
By joining Toastmasters International, Mata has found that through attending meetings the journey has been beneficial in growing her confidence in herself and increasing her ability to speak in different situations.
Mata became a member of the newly chartered Club Aranui Toastmasters and competed in different speech contest levels.
Mata was influenced by the guidance and encouragement from her Mentors and the quote "Do or do not, there is no try" by Yoda - (Star Wars).
This quote is a simple lesson in commitment and the power in giving something our all – not just giving it a try.
Out of 33,000 entrants from around the world, Mata made it to the top 120. The last time that the District Trophy was won in Christchurch was back in 2004! Her speech video was sent onto the International Public Speaking committee to be judged in the semi-finals of the world event.
This is a tremendous achievement. Mata's winning speech came from the heart as she learnt to accept herself as who she is.
For Mata, the most enjoyable part of Toastmasters is Listening, Learning, Meeting and Socialising.