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Enjoy New Fiji, PM Urges Aust Fijians

A Fijian can go anywhere in the world but still retain those positive elements about being Fijian, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Speaking during the Fiji Day gala dinner event in
17 Oct 2016 11:00
Enjoy New Fiji, PM Urges Aust Fijians
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Fijians in Sydney, Australia, during the Fiji Day celebrations there. Photos: DEPTFO News

A Fijian can go anywhere in the world but still retain those positive elements about being Fijian, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Speaking during the Fiji Day gala dinner event in Australia on Saturday night Mr Bainimarama said: “There’s that wonderful saying ‘You can take the boy or the girl out of Fiji but you can’t take Fiji out of the boy or the girl’. It used to sometimes be said as people living overseas rolled their eyes about someone behaving in an unsophisticated way.

“But I think it’s actually a wonderful compliment. Because it means that a Fijian can go anywhere in the world but still retain those positive elements about being Fijian. Of being naturally friendly to others.

“Wanting to make them feel comfortable, to feel at home themselves. To be sensitive to the feelings and needs of other people. To care for them.

“As I said today – the yalo loloma or the baadha dil – the big hearts that we all pride ourselves on having.”

He said that Fiji was not small and isolated.

“We have big hearts and we have big ambitions. To go out into the world and make something of ourselves and our nation,” he said.

He urged every Fijian to consider themselves as citizens of the world, capable of making a difference.

“It can be coming to a place like Australia and getting involved in the local community or in business and bringing Fijian values to all of your personal and professional dealings,” the PM said.

“It can be going out into the world and doing what you can to sell or promote the Fijian-Made brand of increasingly high quality goods and services.

“It can be serving on our UN peacekeeping missions or with the armed forces of our allies such as Australia, New Zealand and Britain. It can be being a Fijian volunteer nurse or teacher in one of our Pacific neighbours.”

He said everywhere a Fijian went was where we had the opportunity to share the Fijian spirit.

“Of service, consideration and care for our fellow citizens of the world. So I celebrate the success of Fijians in Australia and urge you all to do everything you can to make Australia a better place. And to also help us back in Fiji with our effort to give our nation the place in the world we know it deserves,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama also spoke of the new Fiji where all are Fijian and equal. He said: “So to those who have the means but haven’t already done so: Come home and build a house or start a business. Ride the wave of prosperity that has seen us rack up a record seven successive years of economic success.

“You can come and go as you please. You can be a dual national and there is no longer any reason to choose between one or the other.

“But above all, I want to you to be global citizens with Fijian hearts. To promote our values and help us make Fiji a nation that commands even more respect in the world because we lead by example. Because we perform noble deeds, not utter empty words.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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