Amelia’s career spans more than 20 years both in Tonga and Australia across a variety of nursing and health care services. In October, 2019 she became the Minister for Health for Tonga. Amelia was awarded Adjunct Associate Professor from the University of Sydney in September, 2019. Amelia has been an honorary lecturer at the University Technology of Sydney, Australia since May 2019.
In 2014, Amelia was the first Tongan to win the Alumni Award for Professional Achievement, a prestigious honour award from the University of Sydney, Australia. She is the first Tongan to receive a PhD in Nursing in 2012. Improving the health of the Tongan people is Amelia’s top priority, and Tonga's nurses are at the frontier of strategies to improve communities’ lifestyles choices and health care.
Amelia is a current member of the WHO Executive Board and the Advisory Board of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHO CC), University Technology of Sydney. Amelia is the current chair of the South Pacific Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA). She was the chair of the Tonga Nurses Regulatory Board and was also a board member of the Tonga Health Promotion Foundation–a firm advocate for ‘Nurses and Health Professionals: Grow your Wellness’: encouraging lifestyle transformation, exercise and Plant-based diet.
Amelia was first posted as in Charge of the Surgical ward (1995), Psychiatric ward (1997) before she was posted to the School of Nursing. She was promoted to senior lecturer position in 2002 after graduating with a Master’s degree from the University of Newcastle. Upon return after her doctoral studies she was promoted to Matron of the Nursing Department at Vaiola Hospital in 2012. In April 2014 Amelia was promoted to be the national Chief Nursing Officer for Tonga.
Amelia has provided her professional expertise to health services, organizations and governments over the years, in three major areas including Strategic policy level, Innovation and Research Initiative level. Amelia’s particular research interests focus on professional standards issues in nursing and health care delivery. She speaks nationally and internationally on her work and has presented keynote addresses in various regional and international conferences.
Since early 2020, Amelia has been committed to Tonga’s preparedness and response plan for Covid-19. The government has taken a whole of society approach to support vulnerable population during this pandemic and is now preparing for national historic vaccination programme thus commitment to Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework 11 Impact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)– ‘LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND’ – ‘E ‘IKAI NGALO HA TAHAˊ