This article is about a university course which decolonises the classroom by making culture count. It examines how the ethnic identity journeys of 13 Pacific students in a third-year course in Pacific Studies run by the University of Auckland define and derive meaning for a more secure ethnic identity as a strategy for success across teaching/learning and life courses. It also shows that in the context of a New Zealand monocultural education for Pacific students across all sectors, while good courses and teachers get the job done, great courses and teachers have the potential to liberate and heal. The main aim of the research this article is based on was to investigate how the influential factor of a secure ethnic identity contributes to Pacific students succeeding well in their studies. Developing a secure ethnic identity is defined here as the transition from a confused ethnic identity caused by obstacles and hardships experienced by challenges to one’s ethnic self-identity to a secure ethnic identity where resolution of a stable ethnic identity is reached over time, despite these challenges (Anae, 1998; Manuela & Anae, 2017). Students’ pre-course ethnic identity understandings were articulated in their life story interviews (Olsen & Shopes, 1991) at the beginning of the course, and their secure ethnic identity transitions were gleaned from the identity journey essays they wrote mid-course, as well as focus group discussions held at the end of the course. This article also seeks to ascertain the nature of any trends in teaching and learning (curricula, ethnic identity issues) which support or constrain a secure ethnic identity. Finally, it calls for strategies, changes to environments, teaching/learning communities, courses and curricula that allow students to think, write about and act on their ethnic identities to support Pacific success in their studies, within their families, and in their wider communities.