Degree: Post Graduate Diploma in Climate Change
Graduated: April 2014
Current Position: Principal Quarantine Officer for the Quarantine Division, Nauru
Current Employment/Academic Status:
I am employed as the Principal Quarantine Officer for the Quarantine Division in the Department of Justice & Border Control, Republic of Nauru. However, I am currently on a fellowship program funded and organised by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the Nauru Mission to the United Nations in New York.
What was your reason for enrolling on a Climate Change Program in PaCE-SD?
The main reason I enrolled was that I decided for myself that I need a new challenge after attaining my Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. The new challenge I saw was in climate change, so I decided to enroll, and since, then I have not regret a single second of being here today.
What does your current career involve? (i.e your main responsibilities)
My fellowship, the training revolves around being a climate change negotiator. Therefore, I am not only dealing with Science, which I am very familiar with, but rather I am now dealing with policy, economic and sustainable development, which I am not familiar with and are crucial for the effectiveness of the Science behind climate change. As I have noted during my stay here, climate change is not only an environmental issue, but it is rather an economic and developmental issue. For the future we want, it is not only how to deal with climate change, but most importantly, how to deal with economic development taking climate change issues into consideration.
Therefore, this fellowship training has really broadened my capacity and I have gained a lot from the AOSIS Team, who is very capable of what they are doing. I am not a negotiator yet, but I hope to become one very soon so I can really justify the Science behind climate change, and most importantly, to make the science of climate change more politically acceptable.
How has your knowledge and skills gained from your studies assisted you and the organisation that you are working in with their duties related to climate change?
PaCE-SD provided me with a lot of very useful tools and skills, which it has fashioned me into the person I am today. In regards to the Science of climate change, PaCE-SD program was superb and well organized. I am saying this because I do not have a climate change background before doing the course, but when I did it, it went very smoothly because the module program was organized in such a way that it makes it very digestible for even a non – Science person. I give a lot of gratitude towards the (Climate ) Science program of PaCE-SD. With regards to adaptation, vulnerabilities and impacts of climate, which were topics that were covered under the EV414 program, they were again sensational because to me they are really focused at local level, as well as at regional level. This to me was very useful because it provided me with first hand information of what is really happening at our local or regional scale.
Last but not least, the staff of PACE-SD were superb, especially our friend, coordinator, mentor and to me personally, a mother to all PaCE-SD community, and this is of course Professor Elisabeth Holland. Without the guidance of Professor Holland, many of us who are today writing in this alumni section will not be here if it weren’t for her guidance, and the Pacific voice in the Climate Change arena is now well heard at the international level. All I can say to Professor Holland and to her staff is a very big “Vinaka vakalevu”.
Can you tell us about any success stories in your career after you have graduated that you believe was made possible with your study experience at PaCE-SD?
Like I’ve mentioned above, PACE-SD was the foundation of who I am today and yes I would strongly dedicate the fellowship program that I am current undertaking now to them.
What have you done differently/better now in your job after graduation?
One of the most important things that I picked up from the PACE-SD program was better decision – making in a short/or crucial time.
What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?
My immediate ambition is to continue my study and to achieve my Masters in climate change before I turn 30 years of age.
My long – term ambitions are of course to continue to become a successful advocate for climate change. To be honest, I do not want to be just part of the crew within the climate change community, but I would rather like to see myself becoming a leader within the climate change community. A leader that will cause positive change for the benefits of my people, and most importantly, a leader who will marry the science of climate change with political will. I am saying this because based from my observation so far at the highest level of climate change negotiations, political will is the missing vibe to a better future for us all. If I can marry this two together like a reverend would marry two lovebirds, then I am very keen that the issues that are currently arising at the UNFCCC can be addressed accordingly; hence, a sustainable future for all will be achieved.
What are you most proud of in your life? (Can be a personal achievement or work related)
First and foremost, I am very proud of our heavenly father for giving me all this wonderful opportunity, and most importantly, for giving me a beautiful wife who is very supportive of what we are doing together. Secondly, I am very proud of the continuous support from my very beloved families. Thirdly, the friends and colleagues who are also always there to provide guidance and support.
Last but not least, I am very proud to be a Nauruan citizen, a Pacific Islander and a civil servant who is willing to do a change for the future we want.
What inspires you to pursue the type of work that you are in?
What inspires me to pursue the type of work that I am currently doing would have to go back in 2009, when I decided to turn my life around and to make myself a better person. This decision was mainly based on how I want to become a provider for my family and most importantly to support my lovely wife and myself. Since then, things just went rapidly fast and here I am today.
So I can simply say that the core inspiration would have to definitely come from my very beloved families, but then again, ambitions such as those that were stated above further supplements the inspiration.
Who is your role model and why?
My role model would be my very beloved family, especially my wife. They are the people who inspire me most and without them, I do not see myself typing this statement today.