A group of delegates from the Reserve Bank of Fiji have started a two-week Australia Awards Fellowship at Griffith University, aimed at strengthening banking systems and policies in the South Pacific island nation.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Business), Professor Michael Powell, welcomed the group at a function at the Nathan campus on Monday morning.

“This is a very important workshop because reserve banks play a crucial role in economies,” Professor Powell said. “It is important to build confidence in the bank among government representatives, among the people of Fiji and among investors who want to know there is stable and credible economic and financial policy in place.”

Fiji.Group6Professor Powell highlighted the work of Dr Parmendra Sharma, Professor Eduardo Roca and Dr Jen Je Su from Griffith Business School in fostering and promoting valuable relationships between Australia and Fiji.

The project is funded under the Australia Awards Fellowships program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It will focus on developing capacity for research and policy formulation at the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

“We engage with policy makers like you to share our knowledge in this area, but we also seek to gain new knowledge from the interaction. This workshop is very much a two-way experience,” Professor Fabrizio Carmignani, Head of Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, said.

“This is the beginning of what will be a very strong relationship between our two institutions.”

Lavenia Cocker, Savaira Manoa, Seci Taleniwesi, Disusu Ravonu, Carl Miller and Griffith graduate Christina Rokoua are the six RBF delegates.

Fiji.RebeccaIntroducing the participants, Rebecca Keogh (above, left), Manager of International Business Development Unit at Griffith International, described the Australia Awards Fellowship as prestigious and much-coveted. She congratulated the group members who, she said, had been identified as leaders who can build capacity.

The partnership between Griffith Business School and the RBF is led by a team from the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics – Dr Sharma, Professor Roca, Dr Su, Dr Katherine Hunt, Dr Benjamin Liu, Dr Suman Nuepane and Associate Professor Mark Brimble.

The Fijian group represents a cross section of RBF employees responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies in the Financial Markets, Financial Institutions, Economics and Financial Systems Development groups.

They are now also part of a far-reaching alumni group of Australia Award Fellows from 67 different countries.