The Vuvale Partnership between Australia and Fiji has unfolded training opportunities in the area of Defence Cooperation, thereby enabling the first Fijian and an officer of the Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) to graduate from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
At the ADFA Graduation program held last week in Canberra, Second Lieutenant Rusiate Sailo is the only Fijian to have graduated among the 200 graduates from ADFA. Second Lieutenant Sailo an officer with the RFMF is the first Fijian to have completed 3 year training program and graduate with ADFA program supported by the University of New South Wales.
ADFA is an Australian military institution which combines military education and leadership training with academic study for an undergraduate degree. The Academy provides the academic foundation, specialist education and military training for Australian Defence Force Officers.
Second Lieutenant Sailo and his family are proud of this remarkable achievement and they have expressed their appreciation to the Australian Government and the Fijian Government for their commitment in developing this unique training platforms within the Defence Cooperation.
Reflecting on his experience at ADFA, Second Lieutenant Sailo said it has been a great honor to graduate from ADFA and he is thankful for all the support he has received during his stay in Australia and his experience has been a memorable one.
“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have become a part of a prestigious Academy. A Tri – Service Academy that trains and develops the future leaders of the Australian Defence Force. As an ADFA pioneer graduate from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, it is my hope that others who get this great opportunity will succeed and go on to do great things. This opportunity has allowed me to build good networking with the Australians from the three services and other International Officers from various countries.
“I would like to acknowledge God, for His guidance and favor over the last 3 years. Additionally, I would like to thank my family, fiancée and friends for their unwavering support and encouragement.
“I believe that I have been truly blessed with this opportunity and I look forward to utilizing the knowledge, I have learnt here at ADFA back home in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. I pay gratitude towards both the Government of Fiji and the Australia government, the RFMF and ADF,” Second Lieutenant Sailo said.
Second Lieutenant Sailo’s father, Mr. Apenisa Sailo said his family is proud of his son’s new accomplishment and success.
“Rusiate’s achievement is one that we as a family will forever cherish. Even though we were not there in person to share with him his achievements due to the COVID19 restrictions, watching him receiving the honours brought tears of joy and satisfaction that he has successfully achieved his goal which will be an asset to the Fiji Military Force. We only wish that his late grandparents were here to witness such as auspicious occasion,” Mr Sailo said.
In support of this unique achievement for Fiji, Counsellor Salote Tagivakatini represented the High Commission of the Republic of Fiji to Australia, at this momentous occasion and congratulated Second Lieutenant Sailo for his achievements.