Yavalanavanua Aims to Amplify Voices of the Indigenous Community

“I am thankful to the College of Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Studies’ Acting Dean, Dr Aseli Tuibeqa, who has been my mentor along my research journey.” 
27 Oct 2023 23:00
Yavalanavanua Aims to Amplify Voices of the Indigenous Community
Adi Tagimoucia Tupou Moeofo Yavalanavanua.

In a remarkable triumph that transcends borders, an academic and proud daughter of Taveuni, Adi Tagimoucia Tupou Moeofo Yavalanavanua, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship.

The scholarship, affiliated with the University of Newcastle, is geared towards a study of exceptional importance. It focuses on understanding the perceptions of undergraduate university students concerning the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Hailing from the chiefly household of Qaraisoki, Mataqali Valelevu of Somosomo, Taveuni, and Yavalanavanua, Adi Tagimoucia was formerly employed as a Senior Lecturer at the Fiji National University’s (FNU), College of Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Studies (CBHTS).

Yavalanavanua (pictured above) recognises that this scholarship is not just a personal victory but an opportunity to amplify indigenous communities’ voices and underscore education’s critical role in sustainable development.

“It marks a vital step towards integrating SDG education into undergraduate university courses, ensuring that the leaders of tomorrow are well-versed in the global challenges of sustainability,” she said.

“This study stretches across selected countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with a view to enriching our comprehension of how future leaders across various industries perceive the SDGs.”

“I am thankful to the College of Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Studies’ Acting Dean, Dr Aseli Tuibeqa, who has been my mentor along my research journey.”

In the context of this scholarship, the scholar shares her heartfelt memories of growing up on the island of Taveuni.

The former FNU lecturer reminisces about the Somosomo River, a lifeline for her village, once pure and pristine, flowing from the Uluiqalau mountain, offering both solace and sustenance.


However, her journey also reflects the stark reality of climate change and unsustainable land use practices that have taken a toll on her cherished homeland.

“The island of Taveuni is home to a number of endemic species; it has the largest forest reserves in Fiji, with its fertile soils and high rainfall. However, according to a South Pacific Regional Environment Project 2020 report, climate change has been a stressor to unsustainable land use practices, as well as unsustainable small-scale and commercial fishing on Taveuni, as it degrades marine, agricultural and land resources,” Yavalanavanua added.

Attached to a groundbreaking study, this scholarship not only celebrates her achievements but also shines a spotlight on the vital issue of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the Asia-Pacific region.

“As an indigenous woman and academic, I champion the cause of SDGs and sustainable development.”

She also emphasised that the perceptions and attitudes of Fijian students are pivotal in shaping sustainable development strategies.

“This scholarship is not just an accolade but a pivotal milestone in preserving cultural heritage, environmental stewardship, and building a sustainable future. It calls attention to the complex interplay of heritage and contemporary global issues, inspiring us all to take an active role in safeguarding the traditions, culture, and land that have sustained indigenous communities for generations.”


Source: FNUNIKUA – Fiji National University’s (FNU)

Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.