Macanawai Dedicates Medal To The Disable Community


LOSING his eye sight at the age of 17 some 39 years ago, Setareki Macanawai never imagined that he would be recognised for his contribution to people living with disability.

“Contributing 38 years of service to the disability community of Fiji has surely been an honour. I would like to thank the Government for its contribution in recognising people that have contributed to nation building and the civil society.”

“I was not expecting to receive this medal but I believe that this is a team effort that is from all our collective contributions we have made, especially contributions made towards the community of people living with disability.”

Mr Macanawai believes that as individuals, “we do not grow weary of doing good, we keep on doing good and the harvest will come”.

“Regardless if you are being recognised then or now our challenge is contributing to nation building and with everyone’s contribution it will make a whole lot of difference.”

Mr Macanawai was among the 32 Fijian recipients being awarded the 50th Anniversary of Independence commemorative medal at a Special Investiture Ceremony held at the State House. He is a leading disability advocate in the Pacific region and has served in the committees of many international and regional organizations concerned with disability.

Mr Macanawai is currently the CEO for the Pacific Disability Forum and had previously served as the Executive Director for the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons and as the Head Teacher of the Fiji School for the Blind.

He was instrumental in developing Fiji’s first national policy on disability, using the Biwako Millennium Framework of Action as a model and is also a member of AusAID’s Disability-Inclusive Development Reference Group (DRG), a small honorary advisory group, comprising international and Australian leaders and active participants in disability-inclusive development.