"Leading is not about dictatorship but more on working side by side with members within your team."

These are the words of Annette Honimae who was yesterday elected as Avaiki Students' Association's first female President during the association's election of new office bearers for 2009.

In an interview with Solomon Times, Mrs. Honimae said she feels "humbled and honoured" to have the students' confidence to lead the association.

"This is going to be a challenging role for me as a female leading a male dominant association but with the support of my executive, I know that we can move forward together as a group this year," Mrs. Honimae told Solomon Times.

The Rennell-Bellona students group is based at the University of the South Pacific's Laucala campus in Suva, Fiji which consist of 25 members for this new academic year.

The second year BA in Tourism Management & Hospitality USP student, Mrs. Honimae, is married to well-known Solomon Islands journalist, Johnson Honimae, who is with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.

Here with her family, Mrs. Honimae said it will require a lot of commitment on her part as she takes on added responsibility to school and family.

"I accepted the role despite school commitment and family commitment because I feel that it is high time I do something to help my fellow wantoks of Rennell-Bellona Province and especially to support these young ones to achieve what they are here for," Mrs. Honimae, who stood unopposed, said.

Mrs. Honimae said forming such an association is not just to meet and socialize but "this is an avenue for wantoks to get together, work together, and support one another for high achievement while studying here in USP."

"The challenge for all members within the association is to work together as a team to move forward to achieve what we are here for, and that is to be successful in our studies and go back to serve our country."

She adds that the students' confidence for a change of leadership to female taking on the role of Presidency signals a shift in the way of thinking.

"As a female president to the association, it does not mean I am going to dictate, I come along to work side by side with members of the executive and the group as a whole."