NATION

Luisa Gets Top Award From Queen

  Luisa Tuilau, a Fijian recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, was among 60 Commonwealth youths in London for the Queen’s Young Leaders programme Ms Tuilau, a final year
26 Jun 2016 10:02
Luisa Gets  Top  Award From Queen
Queen Elizabeth II (sitting middle), with the 60 recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Commonwealth countries in London after their awards ceremony. Fijian recipient Luisa Tuilau (top right, back row, see arrow)was also one of the recipients from the Pacific including those from Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Photo: Queen’s Young Leaders

 

Luisa Tuilau, a Fijian recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, was among 60 Commonwealth youths in London for the Queen’s Young Leaders programme

Ms Tuilau, a final year law student at the University of the South Pacific, arrived in London on June 16, and was welcomed by the chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Dr Astrid Bonfield.

“Though we were all jet-lagged, one thing was for sure we could feel an atmosphere of excitement and humbleness just to be in the presences of influential young leaders from 46 countries in the Commonwealth; leaders not of tomorrow but of today,” she said.

Ms Tuilau received a unique package of training, mentoring and networking with other youth leaders before they collected their awards from Queen Elizabeth II.

“One of the first challenges that many of us found during the media training was to actually come out of our bubbles and talk about our projects,” she said after attending a media training,” she said after attending a media training.

“The training taught us the essential skills to talk about and promote our work to the media and key stakeholders.

“Personally coming from the Pacific, where we tend to shy away from the spotlight, the media training taught us that it was perfectly OK to embrace the spotlight and to use this opportunity to let the world know of the work we’re doing to improve our communities.”

Ms Tuilau and other youth leaders were also given an opportunity to visit one of five UK charities that run social action projects in London.

“The visit gave us an opportunity to learn of the issues that affect young people in London and at the same time the visit gave us insight on the approaches that are used to improve lives and influence others,” she said.

Ms Tuilau also visited the UK headquarters of the social networking site, Twitter and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) meeting editors, reporters, presenters and producers over a networking lunch.

The 23-year-old youth activist was chosen for the award after being recognised for her work in Youngsolwara, a group of youths in the Pacific that advocates against extractive industries like seabed mining, climate change and social justice issues including the freedom of the people of West Papua.

The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.

Other recipients of the award from the Pacific include Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The Queen’s Young Leaders programme is expected to further strengthen the skills and confidence of award winners who continue to change the lives of others and inspire the next generation of young leaders.

Ms Tuilau, who hails from Namara in Tailevu, will return home tomorrow.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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