The desire to be a positive influence in her community was the driving force behind Silivia Vakaseleyasi’s academic success at the Fiji National University (FNU).
Vakaseleyasi, 25, hails from Nabuna in Tavua and works as a Fieldman at the Ministry of Fisheries’ Caboni Research Station in Togovere, Rakiraki.
Three years ago, she proudly graduated from FNU’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) with a Trade Diploma in Aquaculture and recounts her tertiary education journey with a smile.
“I wanted to study in a field which contributed to a healthy and sustainable population now and for generations to come, and one which also provided me with progression opportunities,” she shared.
“Throughout my studies, I knew I had made the right decision and the learning and teaching support from my lecturers towards my studies helped me complete my courses.”
“My highlights from FNU were during our practical classes where we had to go out into the field and practice what we had just learned in the classroom. This first-hand learning experience and the compulsory industrial attachment at FNU greatly developed our skills and knowledge. I particularly enjoyed the times when we would travel on field trips and then file our reports when we returned.”
The Aquaculture programme at FNU enables graduates to be competent in the area of freshwater, coastal aquaculture and mariculture, fish breeding and hatchery and pond management and aquaculture craft and gear technology, aquaculture nutrition and aquatic farming systems.
The graduates will have qualifications that will prepare them for employment and self-employment opportunities as well as lay the foundations for a lifetime of continuous learning and personal development.
Vakaseleyasi believes being humble, having a strong family support system and working according to schedule were factors that influenced her work ethics.
As a Fieldman at the station, her responsibilities include supporting hatchery production trials for shrimps, oversee algae inoculation, assisting in hatchery development activities at the Ba hatchery and Sigatoka holding facility and assisting in the production of seaweed within the
Vakaseleyasi said a highlight for her would be providing fishermen and tilapia farmers with a reliable and sustainable source of income by enhancing their skills and knowledge through workshops and technical advice.
Her long-term goals include undertaking studies for an undergraduate degree that is aligned to her passion for providing knowledge and support on food security measures to produce quality tilapia, and prawns and shrimps.
She encouraged others to be open-minded to new people and ideas and utilise the land that is available in a country such as ours.
“Think about you and your future. Invest in yourself so you can also help your family and community.”