Teuila Va’aelua is an Auckland-based student of Sāmoan and Scottish descent. She comes from a family rich with creative influences, from visual arts to written language. Having started her early life in a full-immersion Sāmoan preschool, she spent much of her formative years being raised in Manila, Philippines. Returning to Aotearoa New Zealand for high school, leading Teuila to explore what Sāmoan identity and being within Western constructs means today. These themes are prevalent in her creative writing, printmaking and photography.
Teuila was one of 20 youths to participate in the National Geographic Photo Camp in 2023, with one of her images featured in the prestigious magazine’s newsletter. Following that, she was a finalist in the New Zealand Secondary School Photography Competition.