Born in a small town in Vanua Levu, Roslyn Dass Nand always had big dreams that matched her unwavering determination. From an early age, she realised that education would be her ticket to success and a way to make her mark in society. Her journey is a testament to the power of persistence, dedication, and the pursuit of one’s passions.
Upon completing her high school education at Labasa College, Roslyn enrolled at The University of the South Pacific (USP) to pursue an undergraduate degree in Science. Her commitment and hard work paid off as she completed her undergraduate studies. With her degree in hand, she embarked on a career as a secondary school teacher, sharing her knowledge and inspiring young minds.
As life unfolded, Roslyn found love and married a fantastic man who became a steadfast pillar of support. They welcomed two beautiful children into their family. Yet, despite feeling accomplished as a woman, wife, and mother, she sensed a void, a yearning for personal growth and fulfilment that transcended her already impressive roles.
It was after the birth of her second child that Roslyn decided to return to her studies at USP. Her motivation was driven by a desire to address the global climate change crisis. She didn’t want to be a bystander but rather an agent of positive change. Her experience as a teacher had taught her the transformative power of education, and she believed that by educating young minds about climate change, she could help shape a more responsible and environmentally conscious generation.
Returning to USP while juggling her various roles was undoubtedly challenging, but Roslyn was undeterred. She faced the obstacles head-on and refused to give up. Her dedication and perseverance led her to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change (PGDipCC) at the Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD), USP.
Roslyn’s commitment and hard work did not go unnoticed. She was honoured with the prestigious European Union-funded Intra ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Scholarship, an accolade awarded to only five students in the entire South Pacific. This scholarship enabled her to pursue a Master’s degree, a dream she had harboured for years. Roslyn’s family shared in her pride, knowing that her dedication and sacrifices had culminated in this remarkable achievement.
Under the USP PACRES programme, Roslyn was one of the four students from the Pacific who was awarded a scholarship in the Masters of Climate Change. Her studies focus on Integrating Gender equity in small-scale fisheries to improve food security resilience in Fiji thanks to the USP PACRES project. They will be the project’s second graduate scholarship student this year.
The USP PACRES Scholarship component of the programme offers students a unique chance to participate in climate change research at PaCE-SD. Through the PACRES project, this initiative granted five scholarships as part of its commitment to advancing climate change education. These scholarships include support for one female PhD student and four Master’s students, consisting of two female and two male students, all specialising in Climate Change.
Grateful for the opportunities she had received, Roslyn expressed her heartfelt thanks to USP PACRES and the EU for turning her aspirations into reality. Saying, “The EU USP PACRES scholarship allowed me to become a full-time student, making my educational journey smoother and more focused. I want to thank Professor Elisabeth Holland and Lau Dr. Viliamu Iese and the entire USP PACRES Team for their unwavering support throughout her academic journey.”
She added, “I encourage other students to join PaCE-SD in their academic pursuits,” emphasising the incredible support and guidance available. “The warm, vibrant, diverse, and accommodating atmosphere of PaCE-SD fosters an environment where students can thrive and achieve their goals.”
Roslyn’s ultimate inspiration is her children, who motivate her daily to become the best version of herself. In her leisure time, she enjoys quality moments with her family, engages in sports like badminton and netball, and pursues her hobbies of reading, gardening, and photography.
Roslyn Dass Nand’s journey from a small-town dreamer to a climate change advocate with a Master’s degree is a story of unwavering determination, sacrifice, and pursuing a higher purpose. Her success benefits her and the generations she will inspire through her work in education and climate change awareness. Roslyn’s story unequivocally affirms that anyone can surmount challenges and achieve their dreams with dedication and a clear sense of purpose.
Roslyn dedicates her thesis to all the women who dream big, follow their passions, and work tirelessly to carve a niche for themselves in society. She imparts this message to these courageous and brilliant women: “Do not settle for the sky when there are footprints on the moon.”