IUCN Oceania Senior Environmental Legal Officer Maria Goreti Muavesi can now add a Masters to her list of qualifications.
Maria, who hails from the village of Batiri in Macuata, Fiji recently graduated from the University of Wollongong (UOW) on December 11th with a Master of Fisheries Policy with Distinction. She undertook the course from February to November 2018 through UOW’s Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) after being offered a scholarship under the 2018 Australia Awards Scholarship Program.
In achieving this major milestone, Mrs Muavesi said she felt honoured and humbled to be one of the recipients of the Australia Awards and thanked her family and friends for their support.
“I am honoured to have been one of the recipients of the Australia Awards Scholarship which fulfilled my dream of studying in Australia. It is humbling given the amount of people in Fiji that applied for the scholarship. I feel like I have achieved so much in one year and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends especially my husband Eremodo Muavesi.”
Mrs Muavesi left Fiji in January 2018 to pursue her studies while her family joined her later. Almost a year later, in the presence of her husband Eremodo Muavesi and her three children; Frances, Mario and Eremodo Jnr, her latest addition, she went up on the stage to receive recognition for completing her Master’s at UOW South Sydney Campus in Sutherland.
“My official graduation ceremony is in April 2019 but our scholarship officer, Wendy Holtby arranged for my fellow completing Australia Awardees at UOW and myself to attend the graduation celebration at their UOW South Sydney Campus with our friends and family. I am grateful because my husband and children were here to witness the celebration. We were going to save to make it back to the graduation ceremony in April but the UOW Australia Awards team have done us a huge favour. ” Maria mentioned.
“The UOW scholarships team also paid for the gowns and caps and arranged transportation to Sutherland, Sydney. These are costs that we would have had to bear should we attend the official April graduation so I am grateful for the generosity shown.” she continued.
IUCN Oceania Regional Office also expressed its appreciation and congratulated Maria for the achievement.
"We are indeed proud of Maria’s achievement and look forward to welcoming her back to the office. No doubt her recent qualification will hold her in good stead and will assist IUCN’s work and indeed the Governments in the region in policy formulation in the fisheries sector." IUCN Oceania Regional Director Mason Smith expressed.
The Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships offering the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. For more than 60 years, the Australian Government has supported the education of emerging leaders from the developing countries, including Fiji.