- AGRICULTURE MINISTER OPENS NORTHERN DIVISION FIJI DAY CELEBRATION – The Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu today officially opened the Northern Division Fiji Day Celebration in Labasa.
- FIJI PROGRESS HIGHLIGHTED AT INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION – Fiji’s progress over the years was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu at this year’s Labasa Fiji Day celebrations.
- LEVUKA PREPARES FOR FIJI DAY CELEBRATION – Levuka town will host close to 1400 Fijians at the 44thFiji Day celebrations held at Nasau Park tomorrow.
- SEA OF BLUE FLOODS THE WESTERN CITY – Lautoka city was a sea of blue as hundreds turned out to mark the celebration of 44 years of independence at Churchill Park.
- GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS – The Ministry of Health launched the World Mental Health Day celebrations with the theme ‘Living with Schizophrenia’ as part of efforts to raise awareness on mental illness.
- MINISTRY HOLDS MORNING TEA IN AID OF CANCER SOCIETY – Officials representing the private sector, Government and the diplomatic corps joined Fiji’s Defense Ministry in hosting the ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ in aid of the Fiji Cancer Society.
- FIJIAN YOUTH TO ACCESS START-UP GRANTS – Fijian youths who wish to start businesses from next year will be able to access a government grant to assist them in setting up their businesses.
- FIJIAN GOVERNMENT SENDS OFFICIAL FOR DIPLOMATIC TRAINING – In a bid to strengthen Fiji’s diplomatic capabilities, the Fijian Government has sent a representative to the 13th Senior Diplomatic Course in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- MINISTRY BEGINS CONSULTATION WORKSHOP – The Ministry of Education Heritage and Arts held its consultation process for the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSDP) 2015-2018 in Suva today.
1 AGRICULTURE MINISTER OPENS NORTHERN DIVISION FIJI DAY CELEBRATION
The Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu today officially opened the Northern Division Fiji Day Celebration in Labasa.
The Fiji Day celebration marks the Nation’s 44th Independence Day with the theme “Celebrating Fiji’s New Dawn.”
Minister Seruiratu said that with the September 17 elections and a voter turnout of 80%, the people of Fiji have indicated the willingness to participate in a new democracy.
“Along with this new democratic dawn, comes the promise of development, prosperity, inclusiveness and opportunity for all. This is the heralding of the new dawn. The new dawn that we are celebrating this Fiji Day,” he said.
The Minister added that Fiji now has a new Constitution, a Parliament and an elected Government that will provide the basis to achieve an economically, financially and socially strong and just vibrant multi-racial society.
“For the first time, the rights of all races who call Fiji their home are recognized! For the first time, each Fijian’s vote carried equal weight and power! For the first time economic, social and human rights are recognized and written in our supreme law.
“We now have a fair and level playing field where all Fijians are recognized, valued and protected! For the first time we have achieved, UNITY! Not only in name but also in deed,” Mr Seruiratu said.
The Minister reminded the public that Fiji has a rich and proud history from which inspiration should be drawn from.
“Today is the day to think of the sacrifice and commitment that we make on a daily basis to ensure we better our lives together,” he said.
Amongst the celebration and enjoyment of Fiji Day, the Minister also encouraged the people of the Northern Division to invest wisely on readily available resources.
“Start making dreams for your future and how you are going to contribute to make Fiji a better place to live,” he said.
2 FIJI PROGRESS HIGHLIGHTED AT INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
Fiji’s progress over the years was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu at this year’s Labasa Fiji Day celebrations.
Marking the 44th year anniversary, the Honorable Minister said this was a day of pride and joy for all Fijians.
“Fiji has come a long way since 1970 and during this past 44 years, our nation has experienced growth and development and also faced many speed-humps along the way.”
The Minister said despite the many changes, Fiji has progressed and developed due to the peoples’ spirit of determination to succeed.
“Celebrating Fiji’s New Dawn shows that today is also a time where we reflect our past, where Fiji has a rich and proud history which we draw our inspiration from.”
The Minister said that today is a day to think of the sacrifice and commitment that Fijians have made on a daily basis to ensure that all Fijians live together.
“It is time to look forward to our future and I believe we are on the threshold of achieving greater things.”
3 LEVUKA PREPARES FOR FIJI DAY CELEBRATION
Levuka town will host close to 1400 Fijians at the 44th Fiji Day celebrations held at Nasau Park tomorrow.
Levuka’s Provincial administrator Elimi Rokoduru said preparations are progressing however he is encouraging every Fijian to reflect on the importance of this day.
“We have schools from Navua, Namosi, Nausori and Suva that are visiting the heritage sites so they will be part of the march tomorrow,” Mr Rokoduru said.
“We will be expecting tourists and the program will include the re-enactment of the Deed of Cession, art exhibition for the students with entertainment provided for families,” he said.
The keynote address will be delivered by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Laisenia Tuitubou at the old capitaltomorrow.
The theme for this year’s Fiji Day celebrations is “Celebrating Fiji’s New Dawn”.
4 SEA OF BLUE FLOODS THE WESTERN CITY
Lautoka city was a sea of blue as hundreds turned out to mark the celebration of 44 years of independence at Churchill Park.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon. Joeli Cawaki was the chief guest at the celebration and said Fiji’s independence this year was something to cherish by every Fijian.
“Fiji has indeed come a long way since 1970 when we were given the instruments of independence by Prince Charles. During the past 44 years our beloved Fiji has experienced rapid growth and development and has encountered big challengers during these years of being independent, but we have always managed to move forward towards a positive progress with steady development which we can all proudly say that we have made it,” he said.
“It is an independence to remember as this year for the first time; the rights of all races who call Fiji their home are recognized! We have achieved a fair and level playing field where all Fijians are equally accepted, appreciated and valued! This is a remarkable achievement for Fiji and we must congratulate ourselves for building cohesiveness and oneness! That is UNITY, not only in name but also in deed!”
With the theme “Celebrating Fiji’s New Dawn” he reflected on the achievements of the nation including the first ever “truly free, truly fair elections”.
“We now have assembled the building blocks for our new democracy, namely the Constitution, a new Parliament and a newly elected Government. We the people of Fiji need to all join hands and work together towards a just, economically, financially and socially strong and vibrant multicultural society.”
“I challenge you to continue the good works and the sacrifices and commitments that uphold this nation together and better our lives for our future generations as the Celebrating of a New Dawn is truly up to us and I believe we are on the threshold of achieving even greater heights”.
“I would like to remind us to continue to move positively towards the new dawn of tomorrow and support the democratically elected Government, which our Prime Minister has stated clearly that this is the Government for the people, no matter what is your race, religion, your gender, or your political allegiance. Your elected Government is committed to serving you, the people of Fiji,” he added.
5 GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
The Ministry of Health launched the World Mental Health Day celebrations with the theme ‘Living with Schizophrenia’ as part of efforts to raise awareness on mental illness.
The Ministry has begun training its staff through a World Health Organisation Program called mhGAP (Mental Health Gap) – gap between the number of people with mental illness and number of staff available to help them.
The Ministry’s deputy secretary for Hospital Services, Dr Mecuisela Tuicakau said 12 workshops have been conducted in all four divisions as well as training for over 200 staff.
“Awareness programs towards 2015 include community groups and workplaces selected as Mental Health Champions, promoting mental health through art project, training and awareness programs for nurses and doctors and much more.
“Fiji is a world leader in establishing the National Wellness Centre. The Ministry of Health has placed its mental health unit in the Wellness Centre. This allows us to have mental health incorporated as an essential part of wellness. Too much of our resources are directed towards managing the less than 5 percent of the population that have a serious mental illness,” Dr Tuicakau said.
The Ministry of Health plans to assist people through specialist community mental health teams established in hospitals in each division.
Dr Tuicakau said through mental health clinics, wellness clinics and home visits, more cases can be managed.
The celebration launch of the World Mental Health Day was in collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the St Giles Hospital, the Psychiatric Survivors Association, the Youth Champs for Mental Health and Fiji Alliance for Mental Health.
6 MINISTRY HOLDS MORNING TEA IN AID OF CANCER SOCIETY
Officials representing the private sector, Government and the diplomatic corps joined Fiji’s Defense Ministry in hosting the ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ in aid of the Fiji Cancer Society.
Speaking at the event held at Albert Park, the Ministry’s permanent secretary Osea Cawaru said the fundraiser would assist the Fiji Cancer Society in spreading awareness about the disease.
“We are here to assist and contribute towards the fundraising efforts of the Fiji Cancer Society. All of us may have had an encounter with cancer, whether through the experience of a loved one, a relative and even a personal experience of this disease. In Fiji, cancer is one of the leading causes of death,” Mr Cawaru said.
“A challenge is to ensure periodic screening, early detection and early treatment. The organisation of events such as this morning tea will assist the Fiji Cancer Society in spreading awareness and educating more Fijians on cancer and issues surrounding it.”
The total amount collected during the Biggest Morning Tea was $7314.45.
Rajshree Baleisuva of the Fiji Cancer Society said they are thankful to various organisations in the country that have come forward to assist in the good cause.
“It is a great motivation that people in the society have seen the need and come forward to assist us so that others in need can be helped. This fundraiser is organised by organisations that want to hold morning tea in aid of the society. They get registered and host this and whatever is collected is given to the society. We are grateful that a lot of people come in numbers to support,” Mrs Baleisuva said.
“We use the money on patients support programme, with palliative, with whatever patients need we provide for them and we do our operations from this assistance. We also conduct awareness programs. Our major stakeholder is the Ministry of Health and with assistance from doctors and nurses, we provide other resources so that we go together and provide awareness as well as screening.”
The annual Biggest Morning Tea was first organised in 2006 to raise awareness and encourage networking and discussions around cancer cases in the country.
7 FIJIAN YOUTH TO ACCESS START-UP GRANTS
Fijian youths who wish to start businesses from next year will be able to access a government grant to assist them in setting up their businesses.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou said this scheme was aimed at increasing economic participation amongst Fijian youth.
“This Government will from next year provide Start-up Grants to individual and youth clubs to engage in micro-businesses that will stimulate economic growth,” he said.
“This will not only direct benefit youths to start businesses but will also ensure that our youths are given the opportunity to be agents of change in their community.”
He added that the grants would not only be limited to individuals but groups could also work apply for this if they meet the eligibility criteria.
“In a few weeks’ time we will reveal more plans that will directly affect Fijian youths especially in the areas of empowerment,” Hon. Tuitubou said.
8 FIJIAN GOVERNMENT SENDS OFFICIAL FOR DIPLOMATIC TRAINING
In a bid to strengthen Fiji’s diplomatic capabilities, the Fijian Government has sent a representative to the 13th Senior Diplomatic Course in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting Director of International Cooperation Apolosi Lewaqai joined participants from Cambodia, China, Korea, Palestine, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam at the two-week training.
Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia Ratu Tui Cavuilati said the course would provide a good platform for networking among participants. He highlighted that three senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have also carried out this course.
“It is really to upgrade their knowledge in diplomacy and the latest in international relations and politics,” said Ambassador Cavuilati.
He believed this was a good opportunity for aspiring Fijian diplomats given that they would also learn about Indonesia’s foreign policy.
“Overall the course which is conducted at different levels help prepare a diplomat in areas of work commensurate with their level,” he said.
“The basics and the dynamics will help the officials adapt according to their own foreign policy perspectives.”
“The acquaintances struck with other Diplomats help build networks and in the long run satisfies the fundamentals in diplomatic relations which are understanding, respect, friendly and amicable relations.”
Ambassador Cavuilati said the course would greatly assist the Fijian officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by having professional diplomats trained who can promote and protect Fiji’s interests abroad.
“The Fiji Mission in Indonesia would like more officials from Fiji to come since we have been a willing partner in such capacity and manpower development programs that our friends offer.”
9 MINISTRY BEGINS CONSULTATION WORKSHOP
The Ministry of Education Heritage and Arts held its consultation process for the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSDP) 2015-2018 in Suva today.
“This workshop provided an opportunity for stakeholders to interact, share ideas and to progress in a concerted effort towards accomplishing the 2015-2018 Education Sector Strategic Plans,” said the Ministry’s acting permanent secretary Mrs Basundra Kumar in her opening address.
The Ministry is committed to the vision Quality Education for Change Peace and Progress, which is aligned to Pillar 9 of the Peoples Charter for Change and Progress.
“Most of the targets oriented towards quality education outlined in the Ministry of Education Strategic Plan 2012-2014 were accomplished beyond expectation, despite the many challenges,” added Mrs Kumar.
She assured the stakeholders that their suggestions would be considered when formulating the strategic plan.
Three other similar public consultations will be held across the nation.