Fijian Community Association Victoria Inc

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On Thursday 13/09/2018, 2 members of the Fijian Community Association, Mr Pauliasi Verebasaga and Mr Vonivate Driu had the opportunity to attend the Stepping Stones Business Aspiration Day at 727 Nicholson Road, Carlton North and Network and listen to speakers who are successfully running their own businesses and are members of Migrant communities. It was a day organised to give inspiration to all those participants present who are planning to setup their businesses and getting to hear the art of doing business from all the speakers.

The Restaurant hired was full to capacity with aspiring business minded people from the migrant communities ready to start their businesses and listening to speakers who have also migrated to Australia tell their stories on how they have achieved their business dreams through hard work. The luncheon and program was run in a reataurant owned by a 25 year old young Sudanese entrepreneur Sava Alamaio called the AFRO HUB.

Photo: Afro Hub Restaurant owner Sava Alamaio speaking to participants.

Present were participants, mentors, alumni, business partners and friends who all contributed to create a warm and welcoming space. There was genuine hope in the room and new friendships made. The first speaker to spaek on the day was Jenny Vu, a young Vietnamese migrant who is now running her own Beauty Salon business. Jenny went through the Stepping Stone program and started off opening her shop at High Street Prahan close to Chapel Street. Jenny has now opened her second Beauty Salon at South Melbourne. Her main obstacle when she first started was getting customers and she advised that it is important to do our Marketing research including choosing the right location. She also emphasised the importance of having a company website.

Photo: Beauty Therapist, Jenny Vu speaking to participants at the Business Aspiration Day luncheon.


The next speaker was Maria Alejandra Valenzuela, a Chilean mother and former Journalist who migrated with her husband to Australia with her husband in 2013. Maria came to Australia not knowing a word of English and only speaks Spanish and this was a draw back to her aspiration to start a business in Melbourne. Today, Maria now owns a Jewellery making business called the KELKAY and a Spanish Language School. Maria makes jewellery from recyclable items like plastics and even inner tubes of tyres.

Photo: Chilean mother Maria Alejandra Valenzuela was very inspiring not giving up and keep pushing till the end as she relays her story to finally getting her business up and running.

The closing speaker was young enthusiastic Sava, owner of Afro Hub Restaurant who inspired everyone out there listening to just say Yes and do the job no matter what. Sava at 25 has won a few Business Awards including the Telstra Business Womens Award.

All participants were so grateful to Sava, Jenny and Alejandra who bravely shared their stories and inspired them all to be brave enough to learn and take calculated risks.  

As for our FCAV participants, there participation augurs well to the future direction the Fijian Community Association is going to take in terms of the creation of it's business arm. It was also an eye opener to the two participants as they look into creating their own businesses. FCAV is also looking at assisting and advising Community members willing to startup their own businesses in the future working together with the Association's central business operation and moving business together with the involvement of members in business working hand in hand and progressing together into prosperity.


Meet the Committee members of the FCAV (Projects and Business) Sub-Committee.

The Committee Chairman is Dr Shawn Ackers and the secretary is Mrs Ashwinita Ackers.

Members include Mr Martin Chanel, Mr Jotame Ratabua, Mr Gyanendra Reddy, Ms Sylvia Coombe and Mrs Katarina Driu.

FCAV Executive Committee members are also members of the Committee which includes the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and the 3 Chairman from the other 3 FCAV Sub-Committees.