By Luse Tamani, OCCUL Secretariat Officer
Following months of preparations and planning the 2013 Pacific Credit Union Technical Congress co-hosted by OCCUL, CUFA, WOCCU and FSCUL drew to a close on Friday 27th September 2013 concluding three intense days of credit union business.
The 2013 Pacific Credit Union Technical Congress drew to a close for another year on the 27th of September. This annual event was yet another success thanks to the generous funding support received from AusAID, TISA (proud platinum sponsors) the 3 wonderful Gold Sponsors – FESALOS, Sterling Systems and Unit Trust of Fiji with FERN Software providing sponsorship for the Cultural Evening Program alongside contributions from Fiji Public Service and Fiji Nursing & Associates Credit Unions, who made it all possible.
Commencing on Wednesday 25th September, close to 90 credit union delegates from OCCUL member countries namely Australia, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Tonga converged at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi-Fiji for the 6th Annual Credit Union Technical Congress. Mr. Vereimi Levula – Chief Manager: Financial Systems Development & Compliance Group –Reserve Bank of Fiji delivered the keynote address to officially open Congress.
Renowned speakers over the 3 days included Messrs Con Nikolaou, Pierre Seguin, David Smart, Terry Scolari, and Ms Joanne Charles who spoke on topics and facilitated workshops and a panel discussion ranging from Corporate Governance, Lending and Managing Delinquency and Lending to Regulating Credit Unions, Planning for the Future and Safeguarding Credit Unions against Risk & Fraud. Country updates were presented by OCCUL Member country reps while Mr Reuben Elijah from Alekano Savings and Loans Society (PNG) briefly shared on challenges of a rural Credit Union. The OCCUL Board of Directors met on Tuesday 24th September whilst OCCUL’s 3rd AGM transpired on Wednesday 25th September following the conclusion of Congress agenda for that day.
WOCCU’s Managers Certification Program saw 25 students returning this year to complete the 2nd of their 2-year program which ran from 23rd to 25th September. Successful students will be graduating during Congress 2014. The participation of close to 40 women in the Global Women’s Leadership event that was facilitated by Nicole Bice-Business Manager WOCCU on the eve of Thursday 26th September was an exciting affair. It is hoped that discussions from here will translate into action plans and activities amongst credit union women delegates for the formation of a national network before extending to the Pacific region.
The Cultural Evening which also marked the official conclusion of the 2013 Pacific Credit Union Technical Congress was a resounding success that was enjoyed by all present. Delegates and resource people personally expressed their appreciation of the Congress in totality while the 2013 sponsors pledged their support again for 2014 – all these a testimony to an event that was meticulously planned and well organized.