The Men And Women Who Made Difference

Our Woman Of the Year Rosy Akbar has shown time and again her passion for those she serves, the less fortunate in the community. She has this year become established
31 Dec 2015 16:18
The Men And Women Who Made  Difference

Our Woman Of the Year

Rosy Akbar has shown time and again her passion for those she serves, the less fortunate in the community.
She has this year become established as one of the brightest ministerial stars in a FijiFirst Government that has plenty.
Ms Akbar’s empathy and dedication to service stems from the fact that she was brought up and endured difficult circumstances herself and rose above them.
Her drive and determination now helps many fellow Fijians improve their own lives through Government assistance and income generating programmes.
There are countless examples. But her recent hike into the interior of Naitasiri crossing the Wainimala River four times best sums up her remarkable efforts. She and the team she led delivered rocket stoves to the women of remote Narokorokoyawa Village.
It is this type of constant dedication and selfless reach out to people that makes her a much deserved Woman of the Year.


Our Man Of the Year

Voreqe Bainimarama leads from the front by good example. He is the Prime Minister for all, no matter which political party you belong to.
Puts enormous energy and warmth into his work, and the people warm to him. He has become very much our first true People’s Prime Minister.
Just look at how people of all races and communities crowd around him to have their photo taken. He constantly pushed service delivery this year as he continued his vision of building a new and better Fiji. A Fiji for all. Education, health, empowerment and infrastructure development continued to be emphasised in 2015. Internationally, this year he articulately made Fiji’s voice on climate change heard around the globe. We punched above our weight thanks to the PM’s efforts.
Locally he is now leading the charge against violence against women and children. His intervention and high powered highlighting of this problem is making a difference.


Those Who Made A Difference:


Archana Reddy

Archana, from the Dilkusha Girls Home, did not flinch when asked by the Prime Minister about what she wanted for Christmas.
She knew what was needed. Not for herself. But for all the girls at Dilkusha.
They needed a new bus after theirs had passed its use by date. She had prayed about it and here was the opportunity to tell Mr Bainimarama.
The Home received their mini-bus on Christmas Eve, personally delivered by Mr Bainimarama. The PM also brought praise for Archana and how she had thought of others and not just herself.


Litia Naitanui

Despite her own physical handicap, Ms Naitanui is an inspiration to those around her – both able and those physically challenged. She is the President of the Rewa Disabled Persons Association and has been instrumental in setting up income generating projects to support physically challenged members.
Her work was recognised this year when she was awarded the Order of Fiji medal. She is often quoted saying “If you are a person with a disability, only you can define your own limitations.”


Aartika Singh

Aartika joined the military because she believed in herself. She was the first in her family.
She proved the naysayers wrong after successfully completing the RFMF basic training course.
She certainly broke the glass ceiling. She became an inspiration to other young men and women. Not just Indo-Fijians. But of all races.


Selai Saumi

Yes, women can. And in Fiji Airways/Fiji Link women are showing they can fly at the highest levels.
There was no better example than Captain Saumi. She became the first Fijian woman to fly in command in the Fiji Airways jet fleet.
Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said it well: “Today is a momentous day for Fiji Airways; we have our first woman jet captain, Selai, who qualified yesterday afternoon, and we’re extremely proud of her achievement. This is a great achievement for Fiji Airways and our drive to get women in senior positions in the company.”
Her late father, Captain Nacanieli Saumi, would have been proud of her too. He was a Boeing 737 Check and Training Captain.


Lorna Eden

Mrs Eden was to some outside Vanua Levu a surprise winner in last year’s general elections. But not to those who knew how hard she has worked over many years for both Savusavu town and Savusavu as a tourism destination.
And at the same time run the family owned Savusavu Hotsprings Hotel.
A year on Mrs Eden was one of the women helping make the FijiFirst Government so strong. She is efficient and capable of supporting her line ministers. And never trying to take the attention away from the main man.
Don’t be surprised to see her play an even bigger role.


Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The hours he puts into his work are legendary. So is the intellectual firepower he brings to Government.
No better illustrated on live TV during this year’s Budget debate. As Minister of Finance he totally thwarted and outwitted the Opposition as they tried to attack his groundbreaking programme to continue economic growth. Not surprising. He has masters in law (Hong Kong), bachelors in law (New South Wales), graduate diploma in legal practice (Wollongong) and a bachelor’s degree in political science (Australian National University).
Like the PM, he also walks the talk on equality for all in the new Fiji.


Ratu Epeli  Nailatikau

Just as the PM is the People’s Prime Minister, Ratu Epeli was a People’s President like none before him.
There was genuine sadness as he ended his term this year and was given a fitting state farewell.
He is now the UNAIDS Special Representative for the Pacific.
It is a fitting role. One he used the presidency to promote too.
He made it his mission to go to schools around the nation to talk about HIV/AIDS.
He wasn’t shy about it either, bringing out a condom as he preached safe sex to the young.


Faiz Khan

Faiz Khan is a star. This year he started getting much deserved recognition. This was for his tireless and successful work turning struggling state owned enterprises into success stories.
Executive chairman of Fiji Pine Group, that had an operational profit turnaround of $26 million in four years.
And just as importantly has embraced the landowners, bettered their lives and won their support.
Executive chairman of Airports Fiji Limited, that is forecast to have an operational profit turnaround of $60 million by 2017. And just as importantly driving the impressive modernisation of the Nadi International Airport terminal.
When he’s not doing all that he is also a successful lawyer at Faiz Khan & Associates.


Mosese Bulitavu – Member of Parliament

An outspoken Opposition parliamentarian who is an emerging lawyer by profession. This year he came to the fore.
He speaks his mind even on SODELPA party matters when he believes things are wrong.
His views on the way the party is run and the chiefly hierarchy might not be universally popular. But he articulated well views that have challenged the status quo – and made people think.
Up in the North they know how much he does for SODELPA, and they value him in. When down in Suva some in SODELPA wanted him out they got a shock.
SODELPA’s power base in the North rallied behind their man and the anti-Bulitavu elements were defeated. Big impact this year. More to come.


Tony Whitton

The Rosie Group managing director is happy to keep a low profile and let others shine.
But he is one of the true major players in the growth of our tourism industry.
His family-owned Rosie group from Nadi has led the way in developing inbound tourism and opening up new markets.
No more better illustrated this year than with their pioneering charter flights from China to Nadi using the new Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Or one of his two resorts, Likuliku Lagoon Resort on Malolo, continuing to win top international awards.
Mr Whitton is not stopping there. Watch for more growth and growth in the months ahead.
Definitely a local tourism leader shining despite the increasing presence of the international brand name stars.


Our Infamous Trumps

Mick Beddoes

A thorn among the SODELPA ranks Mr Beddoes became ‘Mr Unpopular’ after party officials began questioning his actions and influence in some of the decision-making directed by the Leader of the Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa. In the end the big man yielded to the pressure and resigned from the Oppostion office. But don’t write off the man with a Donald Trump like mouth.


Oni Kirwan

Much like Donald Trump and his push to ban more Muslims entering the US, so is this notorious Oni Kirwin from Matuku.
If she hasn’t made you cringe with her radical so-called Christian prophecies, then you might as well be in the dark ages.
Her signature ‘CAPS LOCK’ type posts on her Facebook page need not alarm even the meek.
She is the self-proclaimed woman of many things like the Attorney-General of the so-called ‘NEW’ Christian state, she claimed to have taken the FijiFirst Government to international courts of justice and the list goes on.
She is behind the sedition saga in Ra. And did we mention that she prayed to The Almighty and asked him to deliver Fiji Sun and all its workers into the bottomless pit of hell?
But unlike Trump, Kirwin is sending these blasphemous threats from ‘Down Under’. Vinaka Oni you made the year an entertaining one.


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