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The Fiji Association and the New Zealand High Commission offered an essay competition to senior students in Fiji’s secondary schools for the third consecutive year. The topics for 2011 were – where I see myself in ten years and rugby linkages between Fiji and New Zealand.

Fifty two secondary schools responded. Over three hundred entries were received by the High Commission, through school principals.

The judges were Lady June Hillary, QSM and Dr Satendra Singh, ONZM, QSM, JP.

Fifteen winners were selected by the judges. They were:
Ajsan Aje from Jai Narayan College, Suva
Nadia Naaz Bano from Kamil Muslim College, Ba
Abhishek Chetty from Dayanand Anglo Vedic College, Suva
Dylan Siliusi Kava from Xavier College, Ba
Mohammed Shaeez Khan from Lautoka Muslim College, Lautoka
Nitin Mukesh Kumar from Bucalevu Secondary School, Tavenui
Swastika Devi Nath from Swami Vivekanand College, Nadi
Kelera Alyssa Railoa from Votualevu College, Nadi
Anjalin Sheetal Sharma from Bulileka Sanatan College, Labasa
Steven Vakaliwaliwa from Ratu Kadavulevu School, Tailevu
Meresimani Navoa from Nadroga Arya College, Sigatoka
Stephanie Ann Hatch from Gospel High School, Suva
Akashna Devi from Penang Sangam High School, Tavua
Darren Hickes from Suva Christian Community High School
Ravneel Raj from Central College, Lautoka


From these fifteen Lady Hillary announced two overall winners who took the major prizes and commendation trophies. They were Kelera Alyssa Railoa from Votualevu College and Mohammed Shaheez khan from Lautoka Muslim College.

Kelera wrote on where she saw herself in ten years, while Mohammed wrote on the rugby topic.
They each received $1000, while the others received $500. Certificates were presented to all winners at a special reception hosted by the acting high commissioner and staff of the New Zealand High Commission at the official residence.

Winners, parents, school principals and representatives from the education ministry enjoyed the hospitality of the mission. The two judges Lady Hillary and Dr Singh also attended and handed prizes to the winners.
A special guest this year was Dr Ami Chandra. He was the Association’s first essay winner in Fiji in 1979, the topic of which was also the future as he saw it. Ami Chandra was a student of Labasa College, eighteen years old at the time. The adjudicator was Dr Satendra Singh. He was able to welcome Dr Chandra to the prize giving reception, meeting him after thirty two years. Lady Hillary presented Dr Chandra with a book on the life of Sir Edmund Hillary. Dr Chandra is a former permanent Secretary of Health.

In his address to the gathering, the high commissioner praised the efforts of the Fiji Association, and said the essay competition has now become a permanent fixture in the Fiji secondary school year.

The two judges and the High Commissioner later visited six secondary schools to hand out plaques and certificates. The schools selected this year were Xavier College, Kamil Muslim College, Dav College, Votualevu College, Central College Lautoka, Muslim College, Lautoka.

Kelera Railoa one of the overall winners, seen here with her proud parents at the New Zealand High Commission.

Dylan Kava, a winner from Xavier College Ba, seen here with his proud mum and sister at the New Zealand High Commission.
Dr Ami Chandra, a winner from 1979, when he was a student of Labasa College, of the Fiji Association's Essay Competition, seen here with guest Mr Gardiner Whiteside at the New Zealand High Commission.