Staff members of the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management converged at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Suva yesterday to celebrate the success of five of its senior management members.

The four Divisional Commissioners, Mr. Mesake Ledua, Mr. Vitale Varo, Mr. Uraia Rainima and Mr. Josefa Navuku were recently bestowed with the 50th Independence Anniversary Commemorative Medals by His Excellency, the President Jioji Konrote this week for their loyal and selfless service to the country.

The event also coincided with the celebration of the recent achievement of the Director National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Ms. Vasiti Soko. Ms Soko was awarded the Excellence Award at the Women's International Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR) Leadership Awards. WIN DRR is a professional network to support women working in disaster risk reduction.

In his remarks, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management  Inia Seruiratu said the achievement by Ms Soko had proven to all Fijians, especially women and girls that “glass ceilings can indeed be broken”.
“Today the nation, the region and the world recognises your leadership award in your achievement of the Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR). As the Minister responsible for disaster management, I am extremely proud of your achievement.  Your role in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian efforts as a first responder and delivering humanitarian response especially in hard-to-reach areas, and making life-saving contributions and resilience building has been recognised,” Minsiter Seruiratu said.
“I acknowledge and congratulate the Commissioner Central, Mr. Josefa Navuku and the Commissioner Western, Mr. Mesake Ledua, Commissioner Northern, Mr Uraia Rainima and Commissioner Eastern, Mr Vitaro Varo for being presented with commemorative medals in recognition of your service as an outstanding Fijian at the Investiture Ceremony for the 50th anniversary of independence.”
Minister Seruiratu said the milestone achieved by the Divisional Commissioners was a reflection of their guidance throughout disaster operations and COVID-19 response that have allowed our people to make a positive recovery.
“This afternoon, I want to also reflect on the road you took that brought you here today. I remind you Director and Divisional Commissioners that your achievement today would not have been possible without your work family, your team. Your achievements would not have been possible without them.”
“You have a responsibility to be inspirational to your team members and create the right environment, nurture their skills and talents and pave the way for their achievement to even supersede your achievements.  Remember, most often, the most powerful motivator for your team is a simple note of thanks for their work. So, take the time to always acknowledge your team members no matter how small and menial their responsibility is.”