NATION

Tuiketei-Bolabiu, Trendsetter, All-Rounder

She believes that all the choices a person makes leads him or her to where they are meant to be.
26 Sep 2021 12:03
Tuiketei-Bolabiu, Trendsetter, All-Rounder
Lawyer Ana Tuiketei-Bolabiu

She is a trendsetter not only for women in Fiji but in the re­gion.

Lawyer Ana Tuiketei-Bolabiu has again and again shown that if you put your mind on doing anything, nothing is impossible.

Mrs Tuiketei-Bolabiuis listed as a defence counsel in the International Criminal Court, is on theWorld Rug­by judicial committee and is also an arbitrator on the General List of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In May last year, she became the first Fijian to be listed in the Inter­national Criminal Court (ICC) regis­try of counsels.

Mrs Tuiketei-Bolabiu believes that life is more than just achievements.

She is a firm believer in doing things which would allow others to grow as well.

Over the years, she has become a household name.

She grew up challenging herself and always tried to lift the bar.

For many young women, she is a role model.

Growing up

Mrs Tuiketei-Bolabiu was born in Suva.

Her mother is a doctor and is cur­rently an Assistant Professor with the Fiji National University, School of Medical Sciences.

Her dad worked for the Fiji Sugar Corporation as a Production Super­intendent and later became General Manager of FSC at various Mills.

He later joined the private sector.

“We lived in Ba, Lautoka, Labasa, Rakiraki where all the four mills were located.

“My mum held positions in the Ministry of Health and became Director of Health and Acting Per­manent Secretary before she joined FNU,” she said.

She said she has three siblings. Two of her siblings are also in the medical field.

“My sister Asena is a paediatri­cian at the Lautoka Hospital and my brother Joshua who specialises in Internal Medicine is a Registrar at the Labasa Hospital.

“I am so proud of them as they’re frontline workers. Our youngest brother Junior is in commerce and like me is in the private sector.”

As a toddler, Mrs Tuiketei-Bolabiu was raised in the old capital, Levu­ka, where her mother is from.

She says she loves visiting Levuka, but she is a FSC kid as she lived in Ba and Lautoka where she attended Catholic Schools- St Theresa and St Thomas Primary.

Adi Cakobau School

Ms Tuiketei-Bolabiu always want­ed to attend Adi Cakobau School and for that she needed to take i-Taukei language as part of the vernacular school curriculum.

For that she attended Lautoka Methodist School in her last year of primary school and enrolled into ACS where she spent all her high school years as a boarding student.

Shed said she took part in all school activities, balancing it with her academic work.

“I was always an all-rounder. I took part in sports, cultural activities, cheerleading, school quiz teams, creative arts, school sports (hockey, athletics, netball) and of course aca­demics.

“I was class captain, in the prefect body, was school captain and Dux of my High school. I had and still do have a lot of energy and zeal for life.”

Ms Tuiketei-Bolabiu said she learnt about balance, priorities, pol­itics, equity, passion, and standards at an early age. And it was a good training ground for life.

She believes that all the choices a person makes leads him or her to where they are meant to be.

“The only difference is the time it takes and the route they pick.

“We all have our different journeys and awareness levels. Once you have that revelation the choice of friends, schedule, priorities, career, and lev­els of decisions are automatic,” she said.

She said sacrifice is an automatic part and parcel of my destination.”

The diversity of Fiji

Mrs Tuiketei-Bolabiu grew up in neighbourhoods full of dynamic youths and people from different backgrounds.

She said she had a fun childhood where they would sneak out to go swimming to a friend’s house with­out permission, go hiking with youth groups, attend Christian camps, eat food they never knew about, then get sick or hang out at each friend’s house pretending they were studying.

“Everyone was Aunty this or Un­cle that and in the FSC compound everyone knew each other, so you couldn’t hide anything.

“My parents were very strict with us, we had to study during all holi­days, we were very organised and had an agreed schedule.”

She said like any teenager or youth, they had their moments re­garding discipline and conflict.

“I think out of my siblings I can safely say I pushed my parents’ lim­its and patience at times. Looking back, I am grateful they were strict because of my enthusiastic person­ality.”

Law graduate

She is a law graduate, and is in the business of providing international solutions in the hope for a more se­cure and vibrant tomorrow.

Her portfolio ranges from inter­national commercial arbitration, regulatory compliance,criminal defence, good governance, interna­tional sports, law reform, public sec­tor management, international pub­lic law, social justice to name a few.

“It is challenging in the sense that you must make time to perfect your craft and communicate the process so people around you don’t resent your choice or calling,” she said.

“So that means creating networks internationally in different time zones; taking up new courses;being transparent with a mentor/coach; figuring out what balance means for your family; having the wisdom to say Not for Me or Maybe Anoth­er Day; having the courage to take leaps of Faith; or knowing when to be still and alone.

“My motivation has always been to make our world a better place by constructing systems that provide the best solution for a better tomor­row.”



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


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