Her Majesty the Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, has honoured Merilyn Tahi as the 40th Commonwealth Point of Light for her inspiring work campaigning for women’s rights and supporting thousands of victims of gender-based violence.
‘I am honoured and delighted to receive this award,” said Mrs Tahi, Coordinator of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre. ‘I am humble, and give respect to those who nominated me. I accept it on behalf of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre, all the management team, colleagues who had travelled with me in this journey since 1992. In receiving this award, I recognise the tremendous support from my family and many other families and also the donor partners.’
The award was presented at the New Zealand High Commission in Port Vila by Paul Dryden, The British Deputy High Commissioner to Vanuatu on 29 March. The award is a Certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen.
Commonwealth Points of Light is a special series of awards recognising inspirational volunteers throughout the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018.
The award was created to recognise outstanding volunteers that have delivered a significant impact on the lives of others, creating innovative approaches to social challenges and have inspired others to make a positive change within and beyond their communities.
First established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, over 5,000 US Points of Light have been recognised in the USA. UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014.