Monday, September 1, 2008


HARD work and determination are two important ingredients to achieving success even in the banking industry, according to Olive Whippy.

The former national basketball rep is the human resources manager for Westpac Banking Corporation in Suva. Managing work, family and sports commitments simultaneously back then, Olive said nothing beats hard work and time management.

She was born Olive Henning at Waiyevo, Taveuni but raised by her aunt at Vunivalu Road off Brown Street, Suva with her other siblings. Very outgoing and independent, Olive had a normal upbringing like most kids who grew up at Brown Street.

"Growing up was fun and we did the usual things sliding down drains and climbing guava trees.
"I was very active and played a lot of sports such as hockey, athletics, netball and eventually basketball," she said. "I never really thought about what I wanted to do but I was mostly into sports."

She attended Stella Maris Primary School and went to the all-girls St Joseph's Secondary School at Waimanu Road. After high school, she decided to find a job to help out with financial constraints at home. She applied for a job with Westpac and was offered a position as a customer service representative.

"I felt good because I was able to get a job. "I never looked back from there. "We had a training centre at Waimanu Road so we had training there. "I started off from customer service then to savings, examiner, bank teller and later team leader in foreign exchange.

"I always had this leadership role even when I was young. "I moved on to become a foreign exchange dealer then a supervisor in cards to manager for electronic banking." Even though she reached Form Six, Olive worked her way up the banking ranks to become an example of what one can achieve through hard work.

She believes and has learned that to get somewhere in life, one should be steadfast and diligent.
Olive said most people generally thought banking was all about handling money but there were different areas of specialty including marketing, foreign exchange and information technology.
"There's a lot that people can do in the banking industry and it is not only confined to just dealing with money.

"It is a very challenging job being in a leadership role but I don't see these challenges as a hindrance to my job. "I have love for the people I work with and I see that when I can assist the human side of things, business will run well."

In 1992, she attended a managerial course in Italy sponsored by the International Labour Organisation. During that visit, Olive had the opportunity to travel to various countries including Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Vatican in Rome.

Apart from her role as human resources manager, Olive represented Fiji in basketball from 1979 to 2003. She is married to Paul Whippy and they have seven children. Thanks to the help of her extended family, Olive managed to make her country proud and family happy, all this while climbing the success ladder at Westpac.

"I always tell my children hard work kills no man," she said.

Adpted from Fijitimes Online