Kala served one term as a councillor with Lautoka City Council. She continues to serve ratepayers in and outside of her ward and would stand for election again given the opportunity.
“Nothing should stop you from working for your communities. Women are good managers and are more resilient.”
Prior to being elected, I was a Justice of the Peace. This involved working voluntarily in the community supporting people in need. I was also involved in fundraising for poorer and disadvantaged families in the community, for example by participating in the planning of charitable festivals (mainly the Farmer’s Festival and the Sugar Festival)
The Big Decision
I was personally approached by the leader of the Fiji Labour Party to contest the municipal elections.
My family and friends provide ongoing invaluable support. Most of my campaign was managed by friends and the political party provided banners and posters for the election. The families situated in my ward (Tawakuba) also provided support.
I was overwhelmed with the way men dominated meetings; a woman’s perspective was totally lost. I also found it a challenge to cope with the attitudes of my male colleagues. It was disappointing because my initiatives were always shelved for financial reasons.
I served one term on the Lautoka City Council between 2005 and 2009. I feel that my election to council gave me greater recognition and scope to better support projects outside of council as well.
I feel I am a good communicator and work efficiently. This enabled me to resolve a lot of the issues ratepayers were facing during my term in office. During my term, we upgraded Churchill Park, undertook beautification around Lautoka City and upgraded the Marine drive. I also held the position of treasurer in the Fiji Labour Party’s Lautoka branch.
Words of Advice
I would encourage young women to continue working in their communities and nothing should stop them from doing so. The fact that women care for the home and hold a full time job says a lot: women are good managers and are resilient.