Passion fuelled talks that move

Facing death six times is terrifying. Dying twice is liberating.
Harnessing the fear is empowering.

Andrew Fiu

TVNZ Breakfast

I think every New Zealander should read this book. It’s a tale of a Samoan coming to New Zealand. It’s a tale of someone suffering through great adversity health- wise, surviving it, the people you met. It’s brilliant.

Kay Gregory

Pharmacy, Te Papa Museum

It was a pleasure to listen to your talk at the PHARMAC meeting in Wellington. Your natural optimism and buoyancy were infectious and restorative. Thank you for this.

Dr. Bruce Foggo

Kings College, Auckland

The boys’ standing ovation said it all. That was quite unexpected but within their experience; so in that context you had created something quite sincere. Congratulations!

David Barclay

Why You Should Listen to Him

Andrew Fiu is the author of Purple Heart.

The Weekend Herald’s Canvas magazine wrote: ‘Written with verve and humour, Purple Heart is a revelation.’ David Eggleton, in The New Zealand Listener, singled it out as one of the year’s best memoirs of 2006, praising its humour, light touch, and lack of self-pity. In Metro, Warwick Roger hailed ‘an interesting new voice’ and praised how ‘the Polynesian humour shine[s] through … on nearly every page’. City Mix called it ‘culturally illuminating, often philosophical, and endearingly honest’. With the seductive humour of a Samoan storyteller, his talks are memorable, thought provoking and engaging and have been heard by big business, medical staff, university and high school students. To each, he brings a humourous retelling of his tale that has seen him overcome extraordinary obstacles and challenges in a life that ultimately turned on one doctor’s misdiagnosis.

You inspired several of our teachers who are would-be writers. My son, Matthew hasn’t stoppped talking about meeting you – it has put his issues into perspective. For that alone you have my heartfelt thanks. You never know what seeds you sow!
Tracy Munro, Edgewater College

Andrew was a great speaker. He was funny and never bored me. His scars were amazing but not so amazing for the guy next to me who fainted.
Student, Kings College

Andrew is an inspirational and motivational speaker. He held an audience of Senior Students in his hand – not an easy thing to do. His good humour, positive outlook and resilience in the face of difficulty provided a positive model for our students.
Tracy Robins, Sancta Maria College

Past Speaking Engagements

RHD Action – New York September 29 2015 (World Heart Day)

Invited by the World Heart Federation to speak at the launch of RHD Action in New York.

RHD Action is the global movement to reduce the burden of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in vulnerable populations of all ages throughout the world. Currently, the burden of disease of RHD is conservatively estimated at 15.6 million prevalent cases with 282,000 new cases and over 233,000 deaths per year.

The RHD Action movement was launched in New York on 29 September (World Heart Day), during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The World Heart Federation have been involved in planning the event that will commemorate this launch, which will coincide with UN Member States officially mandating the Post-2015 development agenda.

Andrew Fiu and Her Excellency Madam Toyin Saraki, Wellbeing Foundation of Africa

Andrew Fiu speaking at the RHD Action Launch in New York

Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, speaking at the RHD Action Launch in New York

Her Excellency Madam Toyin Saraki, speaking at the RHD Action Launch in New York

Heart Kids NZ Conference – Eden Park, Auckland September 26 2015

Every week, 12 babies are born with a heart defect in New Zealand. Whilst there are surgical procedures that can improve the heart’s function, there is no cure for a Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). Heart Kids NZ is the only charity that supports Kiwi children and families affected by CHD, right through their life.

Positive Schools Conference 2014, Queensland and Western Australia, May. Victoria and New South Wales, June.

Very much enjoyed speaking at this conference. Everyone knows how passionate I am about inspiring our students and I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak at The Positive Schools 2014 Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference.

Details below:
Workshop: Thursday, 13.30 – 14.30

Keynote Presentation and Onstage Interview: Friday, 14.00 – 14.45

Inspiring Students in a Changing World

“Look, we all have hard lives, No one is immune from that fact. The key is how to move forward despite all the drag weighing you down. Tomorrow’s another day as they say but it’s only another day if you cruise. It’s going to be a fantastic day if you know deep down, you will achieve at least one thing.”

Patient Care Asia Conference – Singapore 2013

Dear Andrew,

On behalf of Sphere Conferences, we would like to thank you for speaking at our event, Patient Care Asia held from 3-5 December 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore to our audience of 200 healthcare and nursing administrators.

Your keynote and Q&A session that opened the first day of our conference on the morning of 4 December 2013 was very popular among our delegates. A substantial amount of feedback we received mentioned you as one of the speakers they enjoyed listening to the most.

Thank you contributing greatly to the success of the event.

Yours faithfully
Amilyn Quash Yen Sze
Conference Manager

SLANZA Conference – Wellington 2013

I had a fabulous time at SLANZA hosted by the School Library Association of New Zealand held in Wellington on July 16 2013. I had the opportunity to be one of the conference’s Keynote Speakers – courtesy of Softlink sponsoring my Keynote address.

The objective of the conference was to find ways to lift the profile of the school library in the eyes of the school and wider community, and to provide inspiration and strategies for school librarians, library staff and teachers to work together in meeting the diverse needs of learners. I was also asked to hold a workshop on Engaging with Students about the challenges that students face. You can view the Workshop Presentation here.

Carmel College, Auckland

Andrew’s visit was a great success! And a reminder of how it is possible to achieve your goals if you believe in yourself and persevere – despite any setbacks along the way… I know this is starting to sound like a greeting card but as a teacher I found his presentation quite uplifting.


Tairawhiti District Health Board

You have already done some amazing stuff. You are not just a role model to Samoan people but to all of us; you had all of our nursing staff in tears.

Karen Clarke

DeLaSalle College, Auckland

I think there will be boys who will, years from now, be able to trace the origins of some success in their lives to your inspiring oratory on that special day for them.

Bridget Machine

“Time is the most valuable commodity we have. They say invest in land because they’re not making any more? Really? What about time? You don’t have to own land to live on it. Time is a different beast. If you don’t use it, it’s gone forever. It won’t matter how much money you have, it won’t matter if you’re sitting on a 1000 acres. Time, people, is the measure of all measures. Take it from a guy who has spent years just thinking about NOT having enough of it.”

Andrew Fiu is the author of Purple Heart. The story of growing up a Pacific Islander in Auckland, a reflection on the bad old days when schools made Pacific Island children anglicise their names and hospitals did not have translators. His clashes with his parents’ traditional attitudes, the wisdom he learnt from his fellow patients and the medical miracles performed on his heart by famous surgeon Alan Kerr.

I spent four and a half years in hospital, most of it lying flat on my back. I was the only brown kid in a ward where the average age was 70.

Andrew has been a Keynote/Guest Speaker at

RHD Action Launch 2015
Heart Kids, NZ National Conference 2015
Positive Schools 2014
Patient Care Asia 2013
SLANZA July 2013
Porirua Heart Children
Auckland Heart Children Conference
Auckland University
Auckland Hospital Medical Conference
Compass Health
Pharmac, Te Papa Museum
One Heart Pharmac, Rotorua
Roche NZ, Taupo

Purple Heart is

studied in NZ Colleges & Universities
a Radio Play, commissioned by Radio New Zealand
a Talking Book, Royal NZ Foundation of The Blind


tweets at #lifeafter6

has spoken to over 20,000 students through the NZ Writers in Schools program.

Run an idea past Andrew