Students at the FALE Student Leadership Forum at the Laucala campus.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) held yet another successful Student Leadership Forum at the Japan-Pacific ICT Theatre in Laucala Campus on 21 October 2016.
The forum is aimed at empowering USP students as future leaders and this year it was completely student-driven right from registration, welcoming, mastering the ceremony and facilitating of the activities.
This year’s theme was “Growing Sustainable, Empowered Leaders”.
George Hoa’au, a PhD candidate with the School of Governance was Chief Guest at the event.
In his keynote address he said, “I have spoken at different events but this one is special because I am addressing a group of people that will go out later in their lives and make meaningful contributions to society,” he stated.
“Here in our region, we usually ask where all the leaders have gone when in fact the question should be where will our leaders come from? FALE is addressing this very well,” he said.
Mr Hoa’au told students that not all of them will become Prime Ministers, Chief Executive officers or Members of Parliament and if they used this as a benchmark to get into positions, they will be disappointed.
“This is why it is important for us to understand that if you want to measure your leadership qualities, measure it against how you lead the smallest crowd in your life and the smallest crowd in your life is yourself.
“You may not like how well you look including your habits, but that is the crowd that you have to live with every day, that is the crowd that you have to learn to lead first before you can lead the crowd that is out there,” he explained.
He urged the students to work on themselves however, “if you are full of yourself, you will crumble under your own weight one day”.
Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, Dean of FALE said they wanted their students to recognise and accept that inherent in each one of them, are leadership qualities.
She noted that one of the leading attributes in the University’s student attributes is not only the ability to academically think critically, be problem solvers, be competent and have the knowledge in their chosen discipline, but to be good leaders.
Leadership she said, is about the ability of an individual to first of all recognise their abilities, experiences and knowledge and “to accept that in that you will be able to serve others”.
“I believe that that is why we are brought to this university, to prepare ourselves so that we can go back and serve our countries,” she said.
Dr Kedrayate said leadership is about being able to guide, support, encourage and show that it can happen.
“This means that a leader is always positive, a leader always makes a way and ensures that everything can be resolved,” she stated.
According to Dr Kedrayate, such forums enable a student to be able to stand up, address others and which is an empowering process.
“No one can empower you, that empowerment comes from within when you tell yourself – you can do it. And when you have that determination within yourself, the sky is the limit,” she added.
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