Celebrating International Women’s Day; Ragigia Dawai

March 8, 2024

#IWD2024| Sitting across from our Director General (DG), Ragigia Dawai, it’s hard not to be struck by her commanding presence and unwavering focus. She exudes confidence and determination, traits that might initially seem intimidating to those unfamiliar with her. But behind her formidable exterior lies a story of resilience, shaped by her upbringing and the powerful influences in her life.

As we make the journey from Savusavu to Karoko, crossing over to Rabi, DG shares snippets of her past. Born into the family of Ratu Napolioni Naulia Dawai, the late Turaga Tui Nadi, she paints a picture of a stern and principled upbringing. Raised between Nadi and Suva by her late mother and grandmother, she fondly recalls the strong women who shaped her early years, sacrificing much to ensure she was grew up to be an independent and confident woman.

Despite her connections to the Chiefly family of Narewa, Nadi, DG’s path was far from easy. She acknowledges the sacrifices made by her late mother, who single-handedly raised her and her brother after their father’s passing when she was just six. It was her mother’s resilience and determination that paved the way for her.

Reflecting on her youth, DG doesn’t shy away from acknowledging her own missteps. “If you could tell me what you got up to when you were 19, 20, 21,” she quips, “I’d tell you, I got up to worse.” Yet, every experience, good or bad, played a role in shaping the leader she is today.

DG credits her journey to a network of mentors and supporters who believed in her potential, from the likes the Honorable Viliame Gavoka, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Education; the late Josefa Tuamoto, Shally Jannif, Regional CEO for Digicel Pacific; Ben Kealy, Regional CEO for KlickEx and Anthony Seuseu, CEO for Digicel Samoa to now at Fiji Red Cross Society with National Board President Sala Toganivalu-Lesuma. DG has had champions who guided her through various stages of her career. Their support instilled in her a commitment to pay it forward, empowering others, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to thrive and succeed and these included those influential leaders she’s served under who empowered women like DG.

For DG, leadership isn’t about gender or hierarchy; it’s about recognizing the diverse experiences that shape individuals’ paths and creating opportunities for everyone to flourish. Whether it’s through her work or personal connections, she strives to level the playing field and empower those who have been marginalized.

As she leads the Fiji Red Cross Society, DG is determined to leave a lasting impact. She hopes to be remembered not for her titles or accomplishments, but for her unwavering dedication to making a difference. Whether it’s lobbying for better conditions, creating opportunities, or simply enabling positive change, she vows to give her best in everything she does.

Over the last 1 and a half years, under her leadership, the Fiji Red Cross Society has undergone remarkable transformations that have fortified the team and elevated morale. With “people first” as her guiding motto and approach, our Director General has instilled a culture of empathy, collaboration, and inclusivity. Through her unwavering dedication and tireless efforts, she has not only inspired change but also fostered a sense of unity and purpose among all staff.





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