Lorraine Seeto Recognised for Hardwork

Successful women, like Lor­raine Seeto, don’t just dream about being the best in their section or department. But rather the will to be the best in every area she spends
25 Apr 2018 10:50
Lorraine Seeto Recognised for Hardwork
Reserve Bank of Fiji Chief Manager Governor’s Offices Lorraine Seeto

Successful women, like Lor­raine Seeto, don’t just dream about being the best in their section or department.

But rather the will to be the best in every area she spends time in.

With 36 years of experience in the banking sector, Ms Seeto was re­cently recognised and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fiji Institute of Bankers.

Below are excerpts of an inter­view with her.

1) Can you tell us about yourself?

I am Lorraine Seeto, born in Fiji, educated in Fiji and Australia and employed at the Reserve Bank of Fiji. I have five elder brothers(two have passed on), two younger sis­ters, four sisters in law, two neph­ews and two nieces. My father has passed on and my mother is 86-years-old.

2) How long have you been working with the Reserve Bank of Fiji?

I have been with the Reserve Bank of Fiji since 7 December 1981, which is over 36 years.

At the Bank, I have held posi­tions as Chief Manager Currency and Corporate Services, Corporate Planning and Assurance, Risk Management and Communica­tions and am in my current role as Chief Manager Governor’s Office from January 1, 2018. I have also performed the role of Advisor to the Governors and spent nearly 17 years in the Economics Group.

3) What made you want to join the banking sector?

Prior to graduating, I was in­formed by one of my lecturers that the Central Monetary Authority had requested names of potential employees and he had put my name forward for consideration.

I started work at the Bank prior to knowing my final results at the Uni­versity of the South Pacific.

When the post was advertised, I thought it would be a natural step to stay with the Bank.

I did apply to other organisations as well but I wanted to continue with the Bank given its leadership, reputation and the opportunities accorded.

4) What work do you do apart from that for RBF?

Some work that I do with other or­ganisations include: –

  • Committee of Management with the Fiji Institute of Bankers
  • Professional Development Com­mittee with the Fiji Institute of Ac­countants
  • COP23 Secretariat
  • South Pacific Business Devel­opment as chief judge for their awards
  • Fiji Development Bank as a judge for their National SME Awards
  • Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion

In terms of contribution to my community, I am on the commit­tee of the Chinese Association of Fiji and am a member of the China Club and I attend the Annual Gen­eral Meeting of the Chinese Educa­tion Society. I assisted the commu­nity edit the book Chinese in Fiji 1855-2015, Celebrating 160 years.

5) What are some of the challenges you faced?

There are more opportunities than challenges to excel in the Bank.

Being the first female executive having a place at the table with the same opportunity as my male peers to have an equal voice was an excel­lent opportunity.

I also come into contact with a lot of new faces locally and abroad so there is a big network to assist me if the resources are not available in the Bank.

This network grows and I use it if I need a sponsor or mentor.

In this process, I have also become a mentor and it is very rewarding to see positive progress.

6) What advice would you give a young person who wanted to join the banking sector?

My advice is to get a good educa­tion, put your head down and work hard and work smart. Your efforts will always be recognised by some­one. Be patient with climbing the corporate ladder and ensure that you build a solid foundation.

Be customer focussed, strengthen your attention to detail, network well and maintain your contacts.

7)What is your source of inspira­tions?

My source of inspiration is my parents and my family.

My parents immigrated from Chi­na and made Fiji our home.

They worked hard to ensure that we received the best education.

My family provides the support and assistance that allows me to add value to the work that I do.

I have worked with Governors, Deputy Governors and Chief Man­agers at the Bank and my custom­ers who all have something that I can learn from and inspire me to do better and lift my quality bench­mark all the time.

8)What are some of your achievements from previous years?

I was the first female to be promot­ed to the executive management team in 1998 after a restructure at the Bank.

That was a great achievement for me and I thank the Bank for having the trust and confidence in me to be a member of its executive team.

Opportunities have also been given to me to organise high-level meetings like the SEACEN Board of Governors’ meeting, SEACEN Executive Committee’ meeting, South Pacific Central Banks Gov­ernors’ meetings and work with an amazing team on the logistics for the pre COP23, COP23 and Alli­ance for Financial Inclusion Global Policy Forum.

Recently, I was appointed the chairperson of the Budget and Fi­nance Committee of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

This exposure provides me the op­portunity to assist the AFI Board with decisions relating to budget and finance, allows me to impart whatever I have learnt and apply it accordingly so that it is a win win situation and widens the ambit of my network.

9)What are some of your future plans?

My plan is to add value to any­thing that I do in whatever circum­stances in I am in and with whom ever I work with.

I still need to strike that balance with work life integration and hopefully I will find that soon.


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