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Rokube Chases Her Dream

Rokube Chases Her Dream
October 15
11:52 2014

Gone are the days where the shipping industry was perceived as a male dominated profession. The shipping industry has become a disciplined profession and respect for women is of importance.

This is one of the reasons why 20-year-old Atalaite Rokube took on the challenge of choosing the maritime field as a career choice. Miss Rokube is a first year student at the Fiji Maritime Academy studying a Trade Diploma in Nautical Science.

Currently on attachment with inter-island ferry, MV Uluinabukelevu, she is enjoying the work experience.

While, women seafarer represents a very small percentage of the world’s maritime workforce including Fiji, Miss Rokube said women are more than capable to do the work required of them in the maritime workforce.

After completing her first semester of 16 weeks classroom learning, she boarded the vessel to undertake one-year sea time exposure.

“When I joined the MV Uluinabukelevu on July 2, this year, I was a little nervous because I knew that I would be surrounded by men. But as days passed and work progressed, I’m now quite comfortable working with them.”

Miss Rokube said the men on board the vessel are helpful in sharing their knowledge and experiences on the job.

“I’m attached with the deck department with another female attaché and I enjoy it. I’ve always wanted to travel to other parts of Fiji and also overseas thus my interest in becoming a ship’s captain one day.”

Choosing to join the Fiji Maritime Academy to study nautical science did not augur well at first for her parents.

But as time went by, they accepted her choice and are now supportive in her studies.

Her mother, Elenoa Rokonaivalu shared that parents need to be supportive of their children’s choice of study.

“For me personally, when my daughter told me that she wanted to join maritime school, I was reluctant to accept her decision. But after thinking about what she is passionate about, I decided to back her.

“Today, I’m happy that is doing well and will continue supporting her,” she said.

The Fiji Maritime Academy encourages young women to take up maritime studies and be a difference in the perceived male-dominated field.

Former Fiji Maritime Academy chief executive officer, Chanaka Katuwawala had said: “Woman representation at sea is highly encouraged by FMA. It’s a concerned area which was addressed in the International Maritime Organisation Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 2010 revisions. Girls or women have equal opportunity to join the academy – that in itself is encouragement for them, knowing that they are not discriminated against because of gender.”

Feedback: caroliner@fijisun.com.fj

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