Pacific Disability Forum Executive Director Setareki Macanawai and his wife- Ana Macanawai.

Pacific Disability Forum Executive Director Setareki Macanawai and his wife Ana Macanawai.

When Setareki Macanawai talks about leadership, he is passionate about inclusion, “It is important that when we talk about leadership, that we address inclusion, that we include and consult everyone in the community that includes women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.”

Setareki is the Executive Director of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and currently attending the Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative currently underway in Natadola, Fiji. For him, attending the Initiative is an opportunity to contribute to discussions and also take away new ideas to be able to provide support for leaders in the PDF in their exercise of leadership.

“Like my colleagues in other organizations, our network faces many challenges. One of which that is recurrent in most Pacific countries is that we are not part of the national leadership,” Setareki said. However, Setareki is optimistic that over the next few days, he will learn how to apply adaptive leadership concepts that the PDF network can use to either lead change or work with others to make changes.

Setareki lost his sight 34 years ago just as he was finishing high school at Marist Brothers High School in Suva, Fiji, “I have never seen my wife nor my children, my disability changed my life but it has never deterred me. I think of Esther in the Bible, and I have accepted this is my purpose in life to lead and advocate for our group.”

Setareki is the former Executive Director for the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons and was also Head Teacher of the Fiji School for the Blind.

Click here for more information about the Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative.

Pacific Regional Leadership InitiativeFACTSHEET17.02.15