STEERING TWO SHIPS AT ONCE
On top of my ANZ role, I’m also continuing to work remotely as the new Chancellor and Chair of the Fiji National University (FNU) - which presents its own challenges.
I accepted a three-year permanent role with FNU in April this year after a short stint as acting Vice-Chancellor, and some time as Acting Chancellor. I felt incredibly honoured to be offered that position.
Education has always been important to me – my own mother was a teacher – and it was always something I really wanted to be involved with. I’ve said no to a few board positions in the past, but this one was very close to my heart.
The situation in Fiji presents a huge challenge for the FNU and its students. I’m mindful that, while online learning has been put in place, some students will struggle to access that because of infrastructure, or other technological barriers.
And importantly, a huge part of being at university is actually being there and getting involved in everything a university has to offer– the clubs, the friends, the debates, and everything else. So I really feel for the FNU students who aren’t able to have that right now.
A big part of my role with FNU involves looking at the future needs of the Pacific - examining its aims for the future and predicting where the new jobs will be, with a view to bringing island economies to the world stage.
Education is critical to economic development, and the development of societies – it lifts people out of poverty and creates higher order jobs, which is key to major structural reform.
FNU has the ability to help transform the Pacific economy, and that’s already a critical part of what we’re trying to do at ANZ – so in many ways my job with ANZ, and the FNU role, are quite similar.