Jessa Rogers and Areti Metuamate continue to have strong links with ANU. Photo supplied.

Jessa Rogers and Areti Metuamate continue to have strong links with ANU. Photo supplied.

When two cultures unite

A meeting about student politics led to a whirlwind romance and a sharing of passions between JESSA ROGERS and ARETI METUAMATE, MStudies '11, as RICHARD FOX uncovers.

It started with a tweet. In less than 140 characters, Woroni editor Areti Metuamate contacted Indigenous advocate Jessa Rogers to discuss her passions.

As with much in social media though, nothing immediate came of it.

A couple of weeks later, it was suggested to Jessa - then the Indigenous officer for the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association - that she contact the group's previous president for advice.

Over coffee at The Street Theatre's café, Jessa met Areti to talk about Indigenous student politics but the conversation flowed more thoroughly than anticipated.

"We got on very well, things were really relaxed and we just clicked," Areti says.

"Afterwards, I gave Jessa a ride to University House and, when she left, she gave me a hug. It was unexpected but definitely not unwelcome.

"It was only later that we spoke about that tweet."

A second meeting over wine and cheese at Areti's house was quickly arranged.

"But there were five other people there. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting," Jessa recalls.

The pair bonded over passions for Indigenous peoples globally, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. Jessa is a Wiradjuri and Murri woman, while Areti is of Maori and Pasifika heritage