Lanyon Believes Everyone Can Make A Change Regardless

  Meet Miss Fiji Times, Charlene Lanyon one of the 16 Queen Contestants at this August’s Vodafone Hibiscus Festival Her advocacy message is on this year’s festival theme -“Climate Change
23 Jun 2017 13:00
Lanyon Believes Everyone Can Make A Change Regardless
Charlene Lanyon . Photo: Niyaaz Dean


Meet Miss Fiji Times, Charlene Lanyon one of the 16 Queen Contestants at this August’s Vodafone Hibiscus Festival

Her advocacy message is on this year’s festival theme -“Climate Change – Telling Our Own Narratives”

“Journalists tell stories every day, I will be advocating on the importance of a free press.

“More importantly why it is critical that people have access to information that would help them make informed decisions daily.

She said The Fiji Times has been telling narratives of how climate change has affected the lives of Fijians.

“It is real and we need to make a change today for the sake of ourselves, and our future generations,

“No one is too small to make a change we can start with something as small as turning off lights when not in use as it saves energy,

She added when we save energy, we reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from our power stations. As a region, we emit very little carbon dioxide when compared to the world.

“But with the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama as the COP 23 President, we have the great opportunity to tell our narratives,

She will be urging people to join her to beat the Climate Change.

Climate change is real and it is important that we make a change today.

The Vodafone Hibiscus will be held from August 11-19 at the Vodafone Arena, Suva.


Charlene Schieneder Lanyon, 24, is originally from Vatudamu, Savusavu and has maternal links as well to Kasavu, in the Hidden Paradise, so she’s proud to be 100% from the Hidden Paradise of Fiji – Savusavu.

She is the eldest of three siblings and for the first ten years of her life grew up in Savusavu with her maternal grandparents before moving to Lautoka then Nadi to complete her primary and secondary education.

She attended Nadi Muslim College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Politics last year from the University of the South Pacific.

She currently is a sub-editor at the Fiji Times.

What was your first reaction when you were told that you were one of the Queens at this year’s festival?

Charlene: At first I was shocked and thought my seniors at work were joking when they said I should consider entering. A week later I was filling out the application and still could not believe I am a queen contestant.

What was the motivation behind entering for this year’s Hibiscus?

Charlene: I would never just instantly back down from a challenge or a new experience so instead of disagreeing to participate I saw this as an opportunity to speak out on issues that I believe in because it affects me as a journalist and an individual but more importantly, it affects all Fijians.

What can you say about your sponsors, The Fiji Times that many people know nothing about?

Charlene: The Fiji Times is the oldest media organisation in Fiji and is the only newspaper with two vernacular publications – the Nai Lalakai for our i-taukei readers and Shanti Dut for Fijians of Indian descent. We also publish the Kaila newspaper that is specifically targeted towards teenagers. We have always chosen to be seen as a newspaper that takes no side, simply a newspaper of integrity.

Has it ever crossed your mind growing up and watching the festival that one day you’ll be a contestant in it?

Charlene: Becoming a contestant in the Hibiscus, or any festival for that matter, has never crossed my mind. I enjoy festivals for the rides, food and stalls and always watched the public judging of contestants and would always just admire them for their confidence in entering.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Festival?

Charlene: The opportunity to inspire, empower and motivate the people that I will come into contact with during the festival.

Apart from your current position, what do you like doing in your past time?

Charlene: I like reading, swimming and spending time with my family and friends whenever I have the time to do so.

Who are your greatest inspiration by far?

Charlene: My paternal grandfather, Charlie Andrews has been my greatest inspiration because I have seen him at different stages of his life, as well as mine. He has gone through difficult situations with a humble and God-loving heart and that is what I aspire to be.

Other men such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jnr have been role models because they have stood up for what they believed in, despite the consequences.

Some of the challenges in your line of work?

Charlene: I do not see them as challenges but learning obstacles that I am meant to overcome to make me better at what I do. Being a sub-editor is much more than just headlines and layouts, it is being accurate and balanced with the intention to do justice to every story we print and picture we use.

What would you like to take away from this year’s Hibiscus?

Charlene: The feeling of accomplishment and knowing that I did everything to the best of my ability. I believe my knowledge base would also expand during the festival as I get to meet more people of various backgrounds.



Quote: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” -Proverbs 22:29

Book: Bible.

Food: Anything seafood or with miti.

Song right Now: Without Borders by Believers Love World artiste Eben.

All time Movie: The Rosa Parks Story

Guilty Pleasure: Eating lots of Chocolates.

Mere Satakala

Edited by Naisa Koroi




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