1. NEW PUISNE JUDGE SWORN IN – HIS EXCELLENCY the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, today swore in another puisne judge to the High Court of Fiji.
2. LOCAL WOMEN UNDERTAKE WOODWORK AND DESIGN TRAINING – More than 20 women representing various women’s group in the central division are attending a training course in woodcraft and designing.
3. EDUCATION REMAINS A PRIORITY: PS CHAND – Education continues to remain a priority and there is significant funding allocated each year for various levels of education.
4. LABOUR MINISTER PAYS TRIBUTE TO KADAVU GOVERNMENT WORKERS – The determination of government workers stationed at Vunisea in Kadavu to carry out government reforms was commended recently by the Labour Minister, Mr Jone Usamate.
1 NEW PUISNE JUDGE SWORN IN
HIS EXCELLENCY the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, today swore in another puisne judge to the High Court of Fiji.
Puisne Judge Mr Weeratnemulla Gamage Sanath Weeratne was sworn-in before Chief Justice, Judge Anthony Gates and chief registrar Yohan Liyanage at Government House this morning.
Judge Weeratne comes with vast experience as he has been in the legal profession since 1992 and holds a Masters of Laws Degree (LLM) from Queensland.
He also holds a graduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.
Prior to his appointment to Fiji’s High Court, Judge Weeratne was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales as a legal practitioner and has been a barrister and solicitor of the Australian High Court since 2000.
He is married and has four children.
Judge Weeratne has a keen interest in cricket and served as club secretary and co-coordinator for junior cricket at the Caboolture Sports Cricket Club in Australia.
2 LOCAL WOMEN UNDERTAKE WOODWORK AND DESIGN TRAINING
More than 20 women representing various women’s group in the central division are attending a training course in woodcraft and designing.
The training is designed to boost employment opportunities for women across the country and also raise income generating opportunities.
The 2 week training which is being facilitated by Indonesia’s embassy to Fiji and the Fijian Government (through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation) looks at various forms of craft and designing including coconut and bamboo crafts for these women.
The training is facilitated by Mr Ali Sulchan, the expert in Bamboo and Coconut craft who is all the way from Indonesia and has been in Fiji for the last 4 weeks. He has already conducted 3 trainings in the Coconut and Bamboo Crafts, first one at the Buretu Women’s Centre in Tailevu, Waiyevo Women’s Centre in Taveuni and Multi-Purpose Bure in Ba. The woodcraft is his 4th training and he is determined to train more women in Fiji.
Mr Sulchan said that woodcraft is a lucrative business in Indonesia and Fiji is yet to reach its full potential in realizing the value of wood crafting.
“The women trainees have shown good creativity skills; they have realized that there is hidden opportunity for income generating and they are determined to explore this area. In Indonesia for example woodcraft products fetch good price particularly in hotel and tourism industry and this is a new opportunity for Fiji to tap on rather than importing woodcraft, Fiji can produce its own woodcraft products. Through my stay here I have observed that Fiji has lot of natural resources readily available like timber, bamboos and coconuts that could be turned into money making products,” he said. This training allows these women to design and construct products like wall hangings, photo frames, wall key holders, wall mirror frames and coffee table to name a few.
The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni said that woodcraft is one of the many training opportunities her Ministry has provided in partnership with the Indonesian Embassy to help the local women to enhance their skills to diversify their economic potentials.
“These women will go back and share their skills with the other women in their communities and the Ministry is ready to further assist them to establish their income generating through producing quality woodcraft products,” Dr Luveni said.
One of the trainees, Mrs Maria Vianny, a 56 year old retired school teacher and also the member of the Catholic Women’s League said the training is challenging saying that “it is the first time for some of the women to use tools like a hammer and a chisel” .
“I am really glad I have the opportunity to participate into this training, it makes us realize that working in areas like woodcraft, carpentry and joinery is not only reserved for men rather it is an opportunity for women to venture into male oriented career. It’s exciting and rewarding to learn new designs of woodcraft and after we finish we will have another skill to take back home and utilize it to improve our livelihood,” Mrs Vianny added.
3 EDUCATION REMAINS A PRIORITY: PS CHAND
Education continues to remain a priority and there is significant funding allocated each year for various levels of education.
These were the words of the Public Service Commission (PSC) permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand as he addressed students, old scholars, parents and guardians and staff of Xavier College recently.
As a former student himself, Mr Chand was invited as chief guest to the Xavier College Diamond Jubilee celebration held at the School in the form of a Carnival.
“I attribute my educational success largely to the strong foundation and values and virtues which Xavier equipped me in terms of education.”
He said Xavier College has come a long way since its establishment as a Boy’s School by the Catholic Archdiocese of Suva in 1953.
“Since its inception, the College has been one of the premier educational institutions in the country. Thousands of students who have passed through the gates of Xavier College are well placed in the society all over the world.
“The success stories of Xavier could fill volumes, the initiatives of the School to offer club activities, cadet training and other enriching programmes that complement the academic curriculum is very highly commended by the Ministry of Education. At national level, the external examination results of the College have far surpassed that of nearly every school in the country for many years,” Mr Chand said.
The College, he said has been an arena for developing the values of multi-racial living.
“It has a great responsibility of inculcating values such as tolerance, understanding, co-operation, forgiveness and love of fellowmen. These virtues come easily in this Institution for it is built on the basic Christian tenet of love and care for each other.”
Mr Chand also paid tribute to the Columban Fathers as well as the Sisters and now the Monfort Brothers, the many business houses from Ba, the former and current Principals and Teachers of the College, the School Board, parents and guardians, ex scholars and current student who have been contributing to the development of the School.
4 LABOUR MINISTER PAYS TRIBUTE TO KADAVU GOVERNMENT WORKERS
The determination of government workers stationed at Vunisea in Kadavu to carry out government reforms despite the lack of resources was commended recently by the Labour Minister, Mr Jone Usamate.
Acknowledging the limited resources that workers have access to in rural and remote communities, Minister Usamate said that this has not hampered their work.
“Despite the limited resources, the infrastructure and other challenges faced by the officials stationed at the Vunisea Government Station, they have not waived from their commitment of serving the people of Kadavu”, Minister Usamate said.
The Provincial Administrator’s Office in Kadavu said that plans for upgrades and improvements in the facilities and services have been submitted to the relevant authorities and progress is currently underway.
“We have noted some challenges faced by the officers and intend to discuss all matters with relevant Ministries and Departments. Issues concerning the labour ministry will also be dealt with as swiftly as possible,” Mr Usamate said.
Mr Usamate motivated and encouraged the officers to continue to serve the people of the Province to accomplish the government’s overarching vision of ‘Building a better Fiji’.
The Minister is in Kadavu on an outreach tour consulting with villagers and communities on labour reforms and the various services provided by Government.