“We know we as Fijians have a problem. It’s time we got together to talk about this and come up with a Fijian solution to drug and substance abuse” Chairperson Leadership Fiji William Parkinson

Leadership Fiji (LF) with the support of the Ministry of Defence is hosting a National Dialogue on Substance Abuse on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at the AusAid Lecture Theatre, University of the South Pacific.

The event, titled “Substance Abuse – Let’s Talk About It! Finding a Fijian Solution!” will bring together various stakeholders who are involved in trying to combat drugs and its abuse. The exciting plenary is focused on the theme on ‘Finding Solutions’ and will convene around 100 various stakeholders from Government Ministries, Private Sector, Civil Societies, Communities and Young People to participate in raising their concerns as well as finding solutions on how to combat such an issue that lies prevalent in our society.

William Parkinson said “a committee made up of concerned Leadership Fiji Alumni came up with the idea.  Our aim is to provide a space for we AS FIJIANS to engage in conversation at a national level on the negative impacts of substance abuse, especially in light of the rise in reported cases of illicit drugs.  It will bring to the forefront voices from across our community and we aim to come up with ideas on how WE AS FIJIANS can develop solutions at home, in schools, in the work place and at national and government levels to create a safer society now and for our future generations.”

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Defence and National Security, Mr Manasa Lesuma said, “it is important to highlight some of the problems which are the result of drug abuse. More importantly so for those that are involved in drugs or are taking it without fully understanding the consequences. This is one of Government’s priorities, and we acknowledge the need to have conversations around finding solutions on the fight against drug addiction and drug trafficking.  This National Dialogue will assist in bringing together the voices of our communities which will provide input into policies and driven through proper framework and strategies”.

In ending, Mr Parkinson said “without partners, this event would not be possible. We are grateful that the New Zealand High Commission has agreed to be our funding partner and the University of the South Pacific is providing the venue for this Dialogue.”

Interested members of the public are welcome to attend the one day event however they will have to register online through Leadership Fiji’s website www.leadershipfiji.org .

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For more information about Leadership Fiji, Ms. Sharyne Fong, can be contacted on 777 4857, or on email address sharyne@leadershipfiji.org or visit our website www.leadershipfiji.org

About Leadership Fiji

Leadership Fiji is an independent, non-partisan, non-aligned entity that began in 2000. Following the political upheaval of that year a number of corporate and community leaders met and identified a desperate need to build broadminded and educated leaders across the nation. They were introduced to the concept of Leadership Victoria by Andrew Fairley, who had various business interests in Fiji at the time. This proved a very successful model to follow and with the assistance of Leadership Victoria the first Leadership Fiji program was launched in 2001.

Leadership Fiji is aimed specifically at assisting our leaders to cope with demands of the ever-changing world so that Fiji reaches its full potential in the widest sense. The aim of Leadership Fiji is to expose participants to leaders from across our society, in a structured manner, providing them with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of their country, its history, economic and social structure. The result we hope will be the development of a new generation of leaders equipped to take Fiji forward as a united dynamic nation. The program allows members to explore their own values, philosophies, prejudices and beliefs through a variety of issues offered by the program; provides close interaction with Fiji Island leaders in fields such as the private sector, non-governmental organizations, government ministries, youth and faith based organizations.

Current members of the Leadership Fiji Board are:

  1. William Parkinson – Chairperson
  2. Sufi Dean – Director
  3. Kevin McCarthy – Director
  4. Nancy Loaloa (LF2009) – Director
  5. Ilaitia Tuinamoala (LF 2009) – Director
  6. Isireli Dausiga (LF2008) – Director
  7. Neelam Sharma (LF2017) – Company Secretary
  8. Sharyne Fong (LF2005) – Chief Executive Officer
  9. Tupou Halofaki (LF 2009) – Member of the Board and Leadership Fiji Alumni President
  10. Yvette Samson (LF 2018) – Member of the Board and Representative/Year Group Leader
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