Vote of Thanks – Prime Minister’s National Youth Youth Awards
13 Dec, 2019
Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all.
It gives me great pleasure to extend a vote of thanks, on this occasion of the launch of the Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards.
I hope you are all now eager to nominate young people you know or yourselves and are looking forward to the main Awards on 1 May 2020.
Before I continue with the acknowledgements, I wish to first and foremost thank the Hon. Prime Minister for his continued encouragement and support of our youth in Fiji. Just this week, at COP 25 in Madrid, the Hon. Prime Minister has acknowledged the contribution of our young Fijian climate warriors in the global fight against climate change.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is very befitting to call these Awards the Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards – as our Prime Minister has kept our youths at the very heart of the economic and socio-economic policies of the Fijian Government.
From free education and scholarships to initiatives like the Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), and soon to be launched RISE (Research in Innovation and Science for Enterprises), the Fijian Government has recognised the importance nurturing, educating, empowering our youths.
Thus, I wish to thank the Hon. Prime Minister for his vision and leadership which has enabled us to make this Awards an annual national event.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Honourable Minister for industry, Trade and Tourism for launching the Awards and giving encouragement to the youths to be recognised. Your support and guidance, Hon. Minister, will enable us to make this event the premier event for our youths.
Winston Hill, you are a shining example to all young Fijians. I hope your words today will reach out and inspire many more to achieve their goals. It is through events, such as these Awards, we can continue to showcase the many talents achievements of young Fijians.
I extend a special thanks to Judging Panel, led by Ms Jenny Seeto. The panel is of high calibre and independent and comprise of members from the private sector, government agencies and civil society. They will have the unenviable task of selecting winners, amongst so many talented young Fijians.
Finally, our appreciation to the media gathered here today. You are key to ensuring that the message of the Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards reaches all Fijians. We have provided information packages and media kit with all the relevant information on the Awards. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, either today or any day.
These Awards are a whole of Government effort and I thank the Assistant Minister, the Permanent Secretaries and all the senior officials represented here today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sponsorship, endorsements and support from the business community will play a crucial role in making these awards happen.
I would like to acknowledge the businesses that have come on board already:
(i) ANZ Bank – for sponsoring the Community Champion Award;
(ii) Digicel – for sponsoring the Digital Innovator Award;
(iii) HFC Bank – for sponsoring the Inspirational Leadership Award;
(iv) Total (Fiji) Limited – for sponsoring the Eco-Champion Award;
(v) Carpenters Group – for the Entrepreneur Award; and
(vi) The TCF Council – for sponsoring the Fashion, Arts and Creativity Award.
This leaves only Music and Dance Award, Sports Achievement Award and Primary Industries Award, which are yet to receive sponsors.
To our supporting sponsors; Vodafone Fiji, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Vinod Patel, RC Manubhai, Fiji Development Bank, the Essence Group and Coca-Cola and to our media partners, Fijian Broadcasting Commission – your contributions will help give these Awards the prominence they deserve.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With these words, I encourage young Fijians to start applying and the rest of Fiji to nominate those they think are deserving. The Prime Minister’s National Youth Awards will be a grand affair, an event befitting the talents and contribution of our youth to our nation.
Please Mark the date – 1 May 2020, on your calendars, I look forward to seeing you all there.
Thank You. Vinaka Vakalevu.