Tevita Tupou (left) during  breakout sessions at the Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative

Tevita Tupou (left) during breakout sessions at the Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative.

From the Kingdom of Tonga, Tevita Tupou brings a mix of experience in Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Diplomacy to his current role as the Executive Officer for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA.

“The range of roles and activities which goes into tuna fisheries is both incredibly exciting and challenging. Personally one of the challenges I faced working for the FFA was not having had fisheries experience in the past. I have had to be more aware of the tuna fisheries issues especially in my role of developing briefs for the Director General, and it never fails to amaze me how the smallest nations of the world can come together to be an international force in fisheries!”

Tevita is one of the two FFA staff attending the Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative and has found the past four days interesting. “When we started we were asking questions- What is the purpose? Where are we going? In the last two days it became clear, in some ways it is like the real world, where there is a lot of uncertainty,” said Tevita.

“One of the things I learnt is that leadership is not authority, everyone in the organization can practice leadership. It is about taking your surroundings into account and what you can do to progress towards an outcome,” he added.

Tevita also enjoyed the group discussion component of sessions and said that it was good to practice what they learnt and more so with colleagues from other CROP and non-CROP organisations. Asked if he would return for the next session, Tevita said he most definitely would.