Josephine has worked in local government since 1974 and is currently the Senior Environmental Health Inspector at Suva City Council. She is keen to stand for election some day and give back to the community by ensuring sound policy decisions.
‘Take the chance to be a part of local government…It broadens ones knowledge of civic issues.’
I attended Lelean Secondary School and then the Fiji School of Medicine.
Joining local government
I joined the council after applying for a position I felt I was adequately qualified for.
I find my work very rewarding. The working conditions are good and the council is a good employer which enables me to lead a wholesome life. There are occasions when I have to work overtime or take work home but generally I am able to maintain a healthy balance between my work, home and church activities.
Everyday presents new challenges as I make quick decisions regarding health and environmental issues. The added responsibility comes from the fact that Suva, being the capital city, is seen as the model or leader for other municipalities. So, I also assist other smaller municipalities with challenges that arise.
I have a very satisfying professional life and feel appreciated for the work that I do. My advice is sought on issues concerning my area of work before policy decisions are made.
An issue I am concerned with is the growing squatter settlements around Suva City. I am particularly worried about life within these make-shift homes that people build. They have no proper health, sanitation or hygiene standards. This can give rise to diseases and poor health of inhabitants. I try to do everything within the council’s resources to ensure health standards are met, but I feel a lot more still needs to be done.
Words of Advice
I recommend young women take the chance to participate in local government as health and environmental issues are now key issues in development. Involvement in local council broadens ones knowledge of civic issues and there are many opportunities.