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  • Writer's pictureMarama Alliance UK

Winners of 'Social Media Influencer of the Year' at CFF Awards 2023

On the evening of Friday 28th April, we, Marama Alliance UK were announced the winner of the Social Media Influencer of the Year Award at the Celebrating Forces Families Awards 2023!

The event took place at Victory Services Club in London where our two Committee Members, Sereima Tawake and Kiara Valentine represented us. Our phones started buzzing as news of our win was shared by the two across our WhatsApp messaging platform. We were bursting with pride and joy to hear this spectacular news.

Pic: Committee members, Sereima Tawake (left) and Kiara Valentine (right).

The group chat normally would be filled with quick discussions on projects, troubleshooting or delegating, but it was now buzzing with confetti, hand clap emojis and congratulatory messages for the ten-member strong team and all the hard work that was put in over the years.

A little back story on our social media platforms. We started to fully utilise our social media during the pandemic in 2020, where we carried out LIVE discussions on topics directly impacting our UK Fijian Community. Guests in these live sessions included Katherine of the Armed Forces Families Federation (AFF), Dr. Tarisi Vidilo, Mr. Simione Sevudredre and many others. Through collaborating with others, MAUK used social media to shed light on talent, ventures, and projects. In particular, the Shared Shelf Book club where we saw the involvement of Paulini Turagabeci and Ben Ryan; and the Women’s Conference with the Esther’s of Now where we extended our platform to the Sunflower sisters, Pastor Kolivuso and other men and women who dedicated their time to share with us.

Apart from the social media LIVE sessions, there were online Zoom sessions, face-to-face Women’s Talanoa sessions and larger projects including Meke UK and the Women Arise Conference. These sessions all came at a cost; both financial and personal. MAUK has scarce funding and we really do operate on a whole lot of love and faith. Wins like these, therefore, are like gold-speckled edible dust on our coffee that keeps us energised as we finish our 9 to 5, grab a quick MAUK work-related hour, whilst getting the family dinner ready!

However, we always understood from conception that the road we were taking was the one less travelled. This road has been made less challenging by the committee members, advisors, chairs and supporters over the years. They are the ones who have shaped MAUK into what it is now- a group for Fijian women, by Fijian women, who can stand level with other organisations in the UK and win awards such as this one.

Pic: MAUK Committee member, Sereima Tawake, with winners from other categories at the Celebrating Forces Families Awards 2023 at the Victory Services Club in London.

This award, therefore, is not just for the ten-member team of committee, trustees, chairs and their families. It is also for every Marama who has been part of our working group, who has taken part in or watched our LIVE sessions and for everyone who has supported us over the years. Vinaka vakalevu na veitokoni.

If you would like to read more about this Award, please head over to Celebrating Forces Families.

Finally, we have two openings for new committee members and we would like to encourage Maramas out there to apply. We can’t promise that it’s going to be easy but we can assure you that it will be rewarding! See what our Kiara has to say below and if you think this is up your street then go ahead and APPLY.


1. How long have you been part of MAUK? I've been part of MAUK for one year.

2. What is your role in MAUK? I am a committee member and my main role is to run all social media platforms and manage content on the website, alongside planning annual events with the rest of the Marama’s.

3. Why did you join MAUK? I joined MAUK because I saw the impact that this group had on our little community in the UK and Armed Forces families who were still trying to make their way over from Fiji to be with their serving partners. I was also a recipient of this help. I was able to get immigration assistance from MAUK before moving to the UK in January 2022. They made my move so much easier and also helped me to find community in my transition.

4. How do you juggle your MAUK work with your other responsibilities? I work a full-time job, but volunteer work has always been important to me. When I was approached to join the committee and help with their socials, I didn’t think twice because firstly, this is exactly what I do for a living and secondly, I wanted to help our people the way MAUK helped me. Juggling this role requires me to put time aside every odd evening or spend a small portion of my weekends doing this work. It’s definitely a labour of love.

5. How much does this win mean to you? This win is huge for us. It shines a light not only on our organisation but also on our fellow Fijians within the Armed Forces community. Everything we do at MAUK is done in love - we don’t get funding at the moment to run our events, but the ladies generously give their time and money towards putting these efforts together and getting information out via our social platforms, and being recognised for all our hard work is such a morale boost! I’m so happy we’ve won this award!

6. Any final comments for those who want to join? If you're a Fijian woman in the UK and have a passion for helping our community, please apply for a spot on our Committtee. Volunteer work not only brings this accomplished, warm feeling, but it's also great to have this sort of experience in the bag while helping other women and families who need it. We're looking forward to welcoming 2 new Committee Members. If you want to apply, have a look at the requirements HERE.

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