Going The Extra Maile

The 23-year-old was one of 11 students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU), Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) who was recently recruited by Swire Shipping.
15 Jul 2022 16:32
Going The Extra Maile
Luisa Maile was one of 11 students from FNU’s Fiji Maritime Academy recruited by Swire Shipping.

Luisa Maile never imagined that she would one day work on board an international shipping vessel.

The 23-year-old was one of 11 students from the Fiji National University’s (FNU), Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) who was recently recruited by Swire Shipping.

The second-year Diploma in Nautical Science student was overwhelmed with her selection and was grateful to all those involved in her journey.


“For us cadets, this is such a big opportunity. If we join a local vessel, our COC (Certificate of Competency) will be limited locally, but if we join a foreign vessel, it’s an unlimited COC. This would enable us to sail onboard any ship plying our trade worldwide. Needless to say, this makes it such a great opportunity,” she said.

After being notified of her selection, Maile had delayed informing her parents, having remembered their disapproval when she first decided to join the Academy.

“Initially, my family were a bit hesitant as the maritime industry is male-dominated, however, they became supportive after learning that an increasing number of women are now entering this industry globally.”

“I think they will be happy about my selection, but I know my father will be a little upset that I will be gone for a long time.”


Fuelled by her dreams to travel to her home island in Ogea, Lau, Maile opted for a non-conventional route.

“I have never been to my home island. I took Nautical Science because I wanted to do something for a change. Instead of being a passenger going back to the islands, I wanted to be one of the masters to bring back a vessel.”

She added that her experience at FNU provided her with the necessary skills to excel in her endeavours.

“This opportunity means so much to me. I can finally obtain that COC that I have been trying to get for a long time and it makes me so happy to know that my dreams will be realised soon.”

Prior to her selection, Maile was serving her sea time requirement with the Interlink vessel, Wester-land.


Having spent 11 months with the shipping company, Maile has relished the work experience and now calls the sea her home.

“I adapted because I spent most of my time on board, so now when I am ashore, I miss life at sea and prefer life out there than on land.”

Maile encourages more females to enrol at the Fiji National University and pursue a career in the maritime industry.

Students interested in undertaking a Diploma in Nautical Science or other programmes at FNU can visit their website at for course details, minimum entry and application requirements.

For enquiries relating to applications, please send your email to Applications for Semester 2 are now open.



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