MISS PACIFIC ISLANDS 2016/2017 - ANNE DUNN
Bula Vinaka & Warm Pacific Greeting,
Being your Miss Pacific Islands has truly been an opportunity of a lifetime. My journey began by being crowned in Apia, Samoa in December 2016. When I returned to Fiji to welcoming Bula smiles, I also had the privilege of being announced as Fiji’s climate change ambassador by the honorable Minister of local government, housing and environment, infrastructure and transport. The role of Miss Pacific Islands has been indeed an honor. In the capacity of this title I had the chance to visit countries around the region such as Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Australia.
The first half of the year consisted of working with the South Pacific Tourism Organization and completing my legal education. It was great working with South Pacific Tourism in preparing and attending the annual South Pacific Tourism Exchange, which was held in Australia earlier this year. In addition, it was a blessing to become the first Miss Pacific Islands to be admitted to the High Court of Fiji as a solicitor and barrister while holding the pageant title.
The second half of my journey as Miss Pacific Islands consisted of trips to beautiful Samoa and amazing Solomon Islands. In early September, I was blessed to attend the Teuila Festival in Samoa where I met the Miss Samoa 2017 contestants and reunited with my fellow Miss Samoa 2016 pageant sister, Priscilla Olano. Soon after I was welcomed to Solomon Islands where the Miss Solomon Islands 2017 contestants and I had the honor of meeting the honorable Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.
While the role of Miss Pacific has been fun and interesting, from meeting people from not only around the region but even the world, and uniting with young, brilliant Pacific Islands women, I am grateful to say I have grown as an individual and a young Pacific Islands woman because of the experience of this journey.
With that said, this achievement could not be possible without the various support systems that helped, encouraged, and motivate me daily through this fortunate experience. I thank my parents for all their countless support, prayers, and encouragement. My late father, Charlie Dunn, was the encouragement and sturdy reminder to always be punctual and come to God in prayer; my mother, Filimaina Kunaika, is the backbone of prayers and motivation I could always count on during the pageant life. My brother, Amos Dunn and his beautiful family, for all their support and being the reminder of the impact one has on their family. I also thank my chaperone, Shayneal Lal and Miss Fiji supporters for the encouragement to the Pacific Islands Pageant last year. I pay a special thank you to Lei Entertainers, Frances Smith, and Epeli Tuibeqa for all the support and commitment for the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in Samoa. I thank the Hibiscus Events Group Incorporated chairman, Mr, Hirdesh Prasad as well as his team, for their immense support as Miss Fiji to the Pacific Islands Pageant 2016 and their continuous support throughout the year. I also pay special tribute to the Pacific Islands Pageant secretariat in Apia, Samoa for their hard work and support through the yearlong journey.
I thank my family and friends for being the very inspiration I draw from daily and allowing me to be witness to some of the best parts of being from the Pacific & living in this fortunate region. Lastly, I thank God for all the above, the opportunity and the breath of life to live through this season.
As my term as your Miss Pacific Islands comes to an end, I congratulate the incoming Miss Pacific Islands and welcome you to a new and exciting journey ahead. I encourage you to make the best of the opportunity you have gained, enjoy the journey and do your best as Miss Pacific Islands.
In conclusion, to the beautiful girls and women of the Pacific everywhere, I encourage you to uplift and compliment each other rather than compare and compete against one another. We stand stronger united and as the world around us tries to define us, be motivated to stand as your own, tell the world who you are and let the world know about our beautiful Pacific.
Anne Dunn Miss Pacific Islands 2017