Member Q&A - Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich

Each month we talk to a PSA Youth member and find out about their work and passions.

If you want to be involved in this feature let us know at

Ofeina Manuel-BarbarichOfeina Manuel-Barbarich, community operations community advisor, Department of Internal Affairs.

What were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?

Oh, cool! Wait, I'm not that interesting. 


What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work? 

I work for Service Delivery and Operations at Internal Affairs as a Community Operations Community Advisor.

On an average day at work I would be providing a variety of advice and information to community organisations, Hapu or iwi through a variety of mediums or channels. 


What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?

Assisting an elderly community group realise their aspirations to become an autonomous and self-governing entity. 


What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?

The constraints of having to work within the parameters set by government for public servants. 


What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?

Being a part of PSA gives me a sense of security, and job security is important now more than ever due to the impact of rapid technological advancements in the workplace. Being part of PSA Youth provides a platform me to be an advocate, a catalyst for change, and the opportunity to take others along my development journey.


What is your vision for young members of the PSA?

To be aware of their rights and entitlements, to have the knowledge and the skills to confidently participate in the union movement, and to be valued as the workforce of the future. 


How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

In a variety of ways;

Family gatherings (building resilience), overseas travel (I was in Malaysia in April and the temperature was around mid to high 20 degrees), and running a very small event styling and decoration venture.


What cause would get you out on the streets protesting and why?

Unfair working conditions or arrangements

Climate change


Which three figures from past or present would you invite to your place for dinner, and why? 

Past: Mr Prasad (Primary school teacher) - Thank him for the life lessons at the age of 9!

John Campbell: discuss his return to investigative journalism on prime time TV

John Sax: discuss the 2006 Aspiring Leader's Forum where I met my husband. 


What are your three pet peeves?


People who push in line

People who do not indicate


What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

There is life after high school, and boys are irrelevant!


Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to everyone who voted for me to be the PSA Youth Auckland convenor.