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Youngest Of 3 New Female Firefighters Stands Out in Parade

This is a testament of NFA and Fiji’s progression of SDG 5 – ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’ in a traditionally male-dominated profession: Defence Permeant Secretary
23 Aug 2019 12:39
Youngest Of 3 New Female Firefighters Stands Out in Parade
Vilomena Niulele flanked by her parents father Aborosio Keretabua (left), and mother Teresia Keretabua after the National Fire Authority passing-out parade at the naval base in Togalevu, outside Lami, on August 22, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Vilomena Niulele, 18, was the youngest recruit and one of the only three females during the National Fire Authority passing-out parade yesterday at the Togalevu Naval base, outside Lami.

Vilomena, who hails from Ucuinamono in Rewa, applied while she was still a Year 13 student at the Sacred Heart College  in Suva early this year.

“My brother-in-law asked me to try it out and so I took that chance and applied in Term One when I was still in High School,” Vilomena said.

“When Term Two came, I was so surprised that my name was shortlisted for the training and so I dropped out of school and came here,” she said.

Vilomena was among 63 new recruits, where she said it took a lot of adjusting to be able to settle in a new environment.

“When I walked into camp, I found it very hard, as we had to wake up very early in the morning. A lot of things had to change for me as I was just fresh out of high school,” she said.

“I know it is a tough job, that is why I will always be thankful to my parents for their words of wisdom and always encouraging me to work hard.”

She dedicated her new accomplishment to her parents.

Officiating at the event was Permanent Secretary for Defence and National Security Manasa Lesuma.

Speaking about having three female firefighters among the batch, he said: “This is a testament of NFA and Fiji’s progression of SDG 5 – ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’ in a traditionally male-dominated profession.

“As you are about to join other firefighters of our nation and take up your new postings around the country. You must be ready to take up this challenging role and serve your communities to the best of your ability.

“You will all be relied upon to provide life-saving services, a responsibility that should be respected and adhered to at all times,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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