“To win the marketplace, you must first win the workplace.” 
-Doug Conant

As the Seychelles National Parks Authority finalizes its final touches before assuming its financial autonomy status in 2019, one thing remains clear; its human capital base is its greatest asset and an efficient and motivated one is what it requires to ride the challenging waves it will face at the start of its new journey.

This sentiment echoed loudly at its Staff Award ceremony which took place on 20th December 2018 alongside its annual first time this year Staff Conference. The event kicked off with a welcoming address by SNPA’s CEO, Selby Remy followed by a motivational speech by Mr Robert Ah-Weng which then opened the floor for a ‘work’ session where SNPA staff engaged in group discussions over the future of the Authority, operational issues, and human resource issues amongst many other topics. Such an exercise gave the employees a chance to voice their opinions and ideas to their colleagues on a platform which stimulated further debate.

The ‘Best overall’ award was awarded to Gilberte Gendron, a Senior Research Officer from the Research Section, who also picked up the ‘Best performer’ award in her section and the ‘Special Recognition’ award. The Research Section which is made up of 5 staff members and is responsible for conducting and monitoring research projects, gathering and managing research data, assisting with education and awareness and providing technical assistance to stakeholders to name a few. Its director, James Mougal, won the award for Leadership.

Anto Suzette from Marine Operations took home the ‘Hero of the Year’ award following several successful rescue attempts in the Curieuse waters over the course of the year as well as providing assistance in search missions and boats in distress. He was also awarded the ‘Promoter of SNPA’ image award. Suzette is the park manager for the Curieuse Marine Park and has been in the post for the past four years. He was awarded the ‘Hero’ title due to

The Best Team award went to the Forestry Timber Merchant Unit, for working well together, maintaining a good team spirit and communication and also for achieving the expected output in 2018.

A Best Performer award was allocated to a staff member from each section and they were, Maggie Dugasse from Marine Operations, Sabrina Florentine and Frankley Capricieuse from Forestry, Mavis d’Offay from Finance Section and Percy Jacques from Human Resource and Administration.

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr Wallace Cosgrow had a few words of encouragement for SNPA and its staff as take the bold step into financial autonomy as well as extending festive wishes for the holiday season. SNPA’s Chairperson, Helena Sims, also addressed the crowd, many of whom are her former peers, expressing her delight at being the chair of the SNPA Board and also reminding the staff that hard work lies ahead as the authority adapts to its new financial status.

SNPA employs over 80 staff across five different sections. The Award Scheme permits the Authority to reward staff that has performed well over the year, with the intention of motivating everyone, with the end result of improving productivity in the workplace. The Award is also a way for management to thank the staff after a year of hard work.