Buchanan is a finalist in the creativity category for her collection of photographs on Mangaia, shown in an exhibition at the National Museum in January.
The youth awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievement by Pacific youth in New Zealand.
After attending the Women in Leadership lunch at Parliament last Thursday, Fe’ena said she was inspired by prime minister Ardern’s speech.
“I was really inspired by what she said about some women getting through the door and shutting it behind them, compared to some women who open the door and make sure it stays open for more of us to get through.
“It really connected to me and it is what our women in leadership should be doing to inspire our youth,” she said.
Fe’ena said travelling to Mangaia, Atiu and to Penrhryn for her next project showcased to her how diverse the Cook Islands are.
“Our sister islands show our cultural diversity, Rarotonga is not the Cook Islands.
“I feel more connected to our people, it is probably what I have gotten most out of my experiences travelling to our Pa enua.”
Her next adventure to Penrhryn she said is to contrast the northern-est island with our most southern island and how life is on both.
“Travelling to our outer islands always makes me gain an appreciation for what we have here in Rarotonga,” she said.
The youth awards will be handed out on 28 March.