Lifestyle

Former Hotel Worker Ready For New Challenges

The 24-year-old, former room service staff of the Intercontinental Resort in Sigatoka took on the challenge, and signed up for the Deckhand Fishing Programme.
20 Oct 2020 10:44
Former Hotel Worker Ready For New Challenges
Iliana Clarette Nalu (right) after their graduation at the Fiji Maritime Academy in Suva on October 16, 2020. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

When Iliana Clarette Nalu, was laid off her job earlier this year due to the harsh impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, she knew it wasn’t her queue to quit and be another burden for her family.

The 24-year-old, former room service staff of the Intercontinental Resort in Sigatoka took on the challenge, and signed up for the Deckhand Fishing Programme.

She successfully graduated last Friday.

Ms Nalu was among the 11 students who graduated from the Fiji Maritime Academy with a certificate in the Deckhand Fishing Programme.

Two of the 11 graduates were females.

The Raiwaqa, Nadroga woman said she came from a family of fishers, but never in her wildest dreams did she thought she would end up in the same career as her family members.

“The first thing that crossed my mind when I signed up for the programme was that working as deckhands in a fishing vessel was only for men because it was considered a male dominated field,” Ms Nalu said.

“But that did not deter my spirits, I know who I was doing it for. I was without employment and I had the opportunity right in front of me to be part of this career,” she said.

“The course was challenging at first, but I am grateful for the help of my tutors and colleagues who had been a great source of help for me.”

The Deck Hand Fishing programme is managed by WWF in the Pacific and funded by the New Zealand Government.

Ms Nalu said she was ready for the challenges that laid ahead in the male dominated industry.

“I am not going to end my education on this field here but I will continue as I aspire to become much more than just a deckhand in a fishing vessel.

“I hope to prove others wrong, those that had always thought this field was only for men”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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