Feature

Graduation At The Border

It wasn’t the typical big ceremony with music in the background and hundreds witnessing Apisai Moce’s graduation day. However, it was still a grand one after he officially received his
19 Jun 2021 11:45
Graduation At The Border
Apisai Moce with his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Armidale in Australia is supported by his parents Vasiti Valatia Vauvau and Sosiceni Moce.

It wasn’t the typical big ceremony with music in the background and hundreds witnessing Apisai Moce’s graduation day.

However, it was still a grand one after he officially received his Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability at the Sawani border.

To this, the Ministry of Forestry officer, will never forget the auspicious moment he graduated at the border.

He completed his degree in Environmental Resilience from the University of New England in Australia in November, 2020.

He now works with the Parks and Reserves Section under the Forest Resource Assessment and Conservation Division.

Because of the second wave of COVID-19 in Fiji he could not attend his graduation ceremony last month.

He is one of the many government civil servants assisting in the COVID-19 containment efforts in Suva.

“I was devastated with the fact that I would not be able to attend the on-campus graduation ceremony because they only come once in a lifetime,” Mr Moce said.

“On the other hand, I saw it as a prospect to challenge myself to apply for another scholarship for another overseas study and attend its graduation ceremony.

“The university was able to airmail my graduation package and certificate to my parents’ address in Tavua and they picked it up fo me because of the current COVID-19 situation.”

Never did he imagine that he would be receiving his bachelor’s degree from his parents and that too at the border.

“Even though I missed out on graduating on-campus, I was excited that I got to receive my certificate from my parents and ironically at the containment zone’ border of my beloved province, Naitasiri.”

Challenges

Although his studying experience was an exciting, eye-opening and demanding one that he will always treasure, it has not been without challenges.

He had to overcome having to be away from his wife and daughters for three years to pursue his studies, communication barriers with locals there and the cold Armidale weather. However, his faith in God kept him going and the support from the Fijian community there.

“Growing up we didn’t have much as my dad would get an average of $25 in a good week from the church. But I could vividly remember my parents telling myself and my two older siblings that we are blessed to have both of our parents alive and a roof over our heads compared to other unfortunate children out there,” he said.

“Even though we didn’t have much, we would have family members and other kids from other villages living with us. I was taught at an early age to be content with whatever you have and how consequential the practice of love is in this world.”

Mr Moce hails from Rewasau Village in Monasavu with maternal links to Nadala Village in Nadari-vatu.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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