“In my 12 years of public health experience, I noticed women neglect their health due to multiple responsibilities; being the first one to wake up, looking after the whole family, being the last one to sleep – we don’t have time to look after ourselves”
Passionate about helping women realise their health rights, Elesi Sulinibau successfully applied for an Australia Awards Pacific Scholarship to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery at Fiji National University (FNU) in 2017.
Now, as a midwife with the Levuka hospital, Elesi helps look after expecting mothers and the safe delivery of babies. She is also part of a community outreach on women’s health, for the Lomaiviti group.
When asked how the scholarship has contributed to her work, Elesi said “The scholarship broadened my knowledge and gave me a deeper understanding of women’s health. I can address issues such as bookings, attend to pregnant women and build awareness around cervical and breast cancer, which are the causes of high mortality rate in women.” Elesi says she is now more confident in addressing women’s health issues. “I carry my knapsack with women’s health information, folders, cord clamps and a picture of the cervix everywhere.”
Elesi enjoyed her Australia Awards journey, with her fondest memory, receiving her graduation certificate in front of her family. She is still close friends with fellow midwifery graduates, often sharing knowledge and providing support.
A proud alumnus, Elesi encourages nurses and fellow Fijians to apply for Australia Awards scholarships: “If you are driven and have a strong passion it will come true. Just dedicate yourself and don’t give up!”