Feature

First Female Master Qutonilaba Ready To Steer Big Vessels

Deck Watch Rating Officer Sainimere Qutonilaba is still smiling after she re­ceived her Class 3 Watch Keeper near Coastal Licence on December 20. Miss Qutonilaba, 26, is breaking boundaries by
01 Jan 2020 16:39
First Female Master Qutonilaba Ready To Steer Big Vessels
Sainimere Qutonilaba.

Deck Watch Rating Officer Sainimere Qutonilaba is still smiling after she re­ceived her Class 3 Watch Keeper near Coastal Licence on December 20.

Miss Qutonilaba, 26, is breaking boundaries by being the first fe­male master on Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL).

The former Rishikul Sanatan College student is from Savudrodro village in Savusavu, Cakaudrove and has maternal links to Drekeniwai Village in Navatu, Cakaudrove.

“I am so happy because for seafar­ers receiving our licence is always a joyous occasion,” Miss Qutonilaba said.

“I have waited for years to receive this licence. I was a cadet GSL and had to study at the same time. It was hard but then I am happy to be where I am today.

“I am still on Cloud Nine, it has been all worth the sacrifice, hard work and perseverance.

“I went through a lot of challenges; behind those challenges are reasons for celebration.

“Women should not be scared be­cause they can succeed in this field. Some women have done better before me; any woman can as long as you are determined.

“I am grateful to Mr Goundar (George) for giving women like me a chance to prove ourselves in a man dominated field. In some companies when we go there, they hesitate be­cause we are women.

“It is always hard to try and apply for jobs in this field. I am not the only woman working for GSL.

“I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to pursue in the field I am keen in.”

GSL Managing Director George Goundar congratulated Miss Qutonilaba for her success.

“It is a proud day for Goundar Shipping Limited who we have our first female captain that will be soon be a Master on one of our vessels,” Mr Goundar said.

GSL has a fleet of eight inter-island ro-ro vessels serving the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Lomaiviti, Kadavu and the Eastern Division.

“She (Sainimere) is a hard-working girl and what she has attained is a great achievement. This achieve­ment will motivate other women to come onto this field.

“She is regarded as one of our daughters and for her to get a license in a male dominated field is quite an achievement.

“Her hard work has really paid off in the end. In a week or so we will promote her to be the Master of one of our smaller vessels so that she can get some experience and then she can master one of our bigger vessels.”

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