Dr Kalinoe was formerly the Secretary to the PNG Law Reform Commission until his appointment as Secretary to the Justice and Attorney General’s Department. He was formerly the Dean of the Law School. Dr Kalinoe is Chair of PNG’s Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, and is also on the Environment Board of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
After completing a Masters in Social Planning and Development at University of Queensland, Ms Jane Kesno undertook a range of community development and research work with NGOs, private sector and international agencies. From 1985 to 2000 she worked in the PNG public service, culminating in her appointment as Head of the Women’s Division and Director of the Office of Home Affairs (now elevated to the Department of Community Development) in 1999. Ms Kesno joined the PNG-Australia Law and Justice Sector Program as Gender and Lead Adviser for Cross Cutting Issues. She left this role to contest in the 2012 elections for the Namatanai District. Ms Kesno is the Founder and Chairperson of an NGO, the PNG Women and Children’s Rights Centre and co-founder of Coalition of Public Sector Women in Leadership.
Prior to joining the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ms Latu was a Financial Analyst with the Ministry of Public Enterprises, overseeing the setup of the Ministry and parts of the State Owned Entity Government Rationalisation and Reform Program. Ms Latu was previously head of the Project and Aid Management Division and contributed extensively through policy advice, operational and technical support before her appointment to her current position. She was also recently a member of the Forum Compact Development Partners Review of Australia’s Development Cooperation.
Reverend Lomaloma has been active in the Pacific Conference of Churches and was the Secretary of the Diocese of Polynesia. From 1991-June 2000 she was the Director for Women & Culture, Ministry for Women & Culture & Social Welfare, Government of Fiji. Since January 2014 her Ministry covers three areas/portfolios – Ministry Officer/Curriculum Development Co-ordinator and Community Engagement. She is a founding member of the House of Sarah and chairs the House of Sarah Management Committee. Reverend Lomaloma has been a Board Member of the Homes of Hope (Fiji) since July 2015 and was formerly a Trustee of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and member of their Project Co-ordinating Committee.
Ms Savina Nongebatu is the Office Manager, and previous President (2005-2011) of People with Disabilities (PWDSI) in the Solomon Islands. PWDSI is an advocacy organisation that promotes the rights of people with disabilities. Ms Nongebatu was also female co-chair for Pacific Disability Forum (2009- 2011), a regional network of which PWDSI is a member. In 2012 she received the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage. She was recognised for overcoming adversity and championing the cause of people living with disabilities in the Solomon Islands.
Mrs Merilyn Tahi has been the Coordinator of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre since 1994. She was awarded the ‘Woman of Courage’ award by the USA Government in 2009 for her work on violence against women and children in Vanuatu. Mrs Tahi was the second Political Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990/91), and was Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Protocol) from 1983-1986 and Director for Vanuatu Centre for International Relations (1986-1990). Mrs Tahi’s experience includes the positions of Chairperson of Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisations and President of Vanuatu National Council of Women.
Ms Taviri Lesieli graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science at the PNG University of Technology and worked in IT for eight years before moving in to the energy sector, where she has spent the last eight years of her career in Human Resources, Sales, Marketing and Business Development senior executive roles. She is the Chairperson of the Business Coalition for Women, which is the first kind of group in the Region, committed to removing the barriers that have prevent women from advancing their careers in the region. Ms Taviri is completing a MBA program with the Chifley School of Business and holds Directorship on the Board of PNG’s largest Superannuation Fund, Nambawan Super Limited.
Ms Maere Tekanene is the former Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Tarawa Teinainano (2011– March 2016). She was also Vice President of the Interim Kiribati Women in Politics Association from 2010-2011 and Acting Secretary to Parliament Committees for the Kiribati House of Parliament from 2006-2007. Ms Tekanene was consultant on Gender Equality, Poverty and Education Goals for the first National Report on the Millennium Development Goals in collaboration with UNDP (2007) and on the Status of Women and CEDAW with the Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women (2003). She was also the Coordinator/Researcher and subsequently Team Leader for dissemination of findings for the Gender-Based Violence and Child Abuse Study based at the Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs from 2007-2011. She has been serving public as a leader in public enterprise, in the education sector and through dedication to the advancement of women for more than thirty years.
Dr Tukuitonga was appointed Director-General of SPC in November 2013. He has held several leadership positions across the Pacific and globally, including: Associate Professor of Pacific and International Health, University of Auckland; Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic NCDs, World Health Organisation, Former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Government of New Zealand. Dr Tukuitonga is the Founding Member of the Niue Arts and Culture Festival, Pacific Language Weeks (celebrating five Pacific languages) in New Zealand, Leadership Development Programme for Pacific civil servants in New Zealand.
Ms Yamaguchi graduated from the University of Hawaii, Hilo with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Gender Studies and then worked as a Domestic Violence Public Awareness Coordinator for Women United Together Marshall Islands, a National NGO. Ms Yamaguchi is currently the United Nation’s Development Programme/Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme National Coordinator. She has worked regionally with other young women during the Triennial Conference of Pacific Women (Cook Islands, 2013).
Dr Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, is an observer to the Advisory Board. Dr Stone has been a longstanding advocate on gender equality issues in Australia and globally and has had a distinguished 20-year career in the Australian Parliament. She delivered Australia’s Statement on the Status of Women in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, where she also worked on the development of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Stone has participated in regional dialogues for Pacific women political leaders and policy makers in the Pacific (Tonga, 2014), the Australian-funded Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Project, and the Women Ministers and Parliamentarians Conference on Progressing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights into Beijing + 20. Dr Sharman assumed the role after Ms Natasha Stott Despoja’s term as Ambassador ended in 2016.