29 emerging Pacific women leaders join WLI : Thanks to Australian Awards

 Australia Awards Women Leading and Influencing (WLI) welcomes 29 emerging Pacific women leaders to join the prestigious Women’s Developmental Leadership Program in 2023. 

The successful applicants from seven Pacific Island countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) are Australia Awards scholars who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential.  

29 emerging Pacific women leaders  join WLI : Thanks to Australian Awards [Photo by Australian Awards]

Through the program, each participant will be supported to develop their own leadership style, build key leadership skills and behaviours, and develop regional and country-based networks to help drive positive development change in the Pacific.

Our Women’s Developmental Leadership Program participants for 2023 are: 


Asenaca (Ruci) Barauvula Bachelor of Psychological Science, The University of South Australia 

Alomeci Medamaiciba Master of Midwifery, Charles Darwin University

Melaia Waisale Master of Governance and Public Policy, The University of Queensland

Melissa Kwan Master of Public Policy, The Australian National University

Kritika Kumar Master of Nursing Science, The University of Adelaide 

Sereima Dibula Koli Master of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University 

Siteri Kamikamica Master of Laws, The University of Melbourne 

Taina Waqaliva Master of Food Science, The University of Melbourne 

Vasenai Sakalai Master of Midwifery Studies, The University of Newcastle


Victoria Hnanguie Master of Environmental Management, The University of Queensland 


Constantina Depaune Bachelor of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology

Papua New Guinea 

Beautlyn Eliab Master of International Community Development, Victoria University 

Cecilia Watmelik Master of Information Systems, Central Queensland University 

Cherolyn Pokawin Polomon PhD, Health Nursing and Midwifery, University of Technology Sydney

Erita Yawi PhD, Education, Victoria University 

Kurande Kupeng Master of Public Health; Master of Business Administration, James Cook University 

Maria John Master of Disability Policy and Practice, Flinders University 

Maryanne Maga Master of Midwifery, The University of Newcastle 

Melinda Matanu Master of Global Health; Master of Health Leadership and Management, The University of New South Wales

Ruth Javati Bachelor of Human Services, Queensland University of Technology

Sophie Tuna Bachelor of Sport Management, Victoria University 

Susan Aipit Master of Public Health, James Cook University

Teisi Kalamo Master of Applied Anthropology and Development, The Australian National University

Solomon Islands 

Koisau Sade Bachelors of Arts and Social Science, The University of Queensland

Lanique Pitasua Master of Public Health, The Australian National University


Daisy Rose Sipiti Bachelor of Business, Victora University

Debbie Fred Master of Public Health; Master of Business Administration, James Cook University

Melissa Velvel Fare Bachelor of International Relations and Political Science; Bachelor of Business Management (International Business), Flinders University


Teresa Lifuka-Drecala Master of Law and Development, The University of Melbourne

Sincere thanks to all those scholars who applied for the WDLP. We encourage all unsuccessful applicants to re-apply for the 2024 Women’s Developmental Leadership Program (in late 2023) and to keep an eye out for the upcoming LeadershipConnect online program, starting in March.

source : WLI

Next : University of Canterbury graduate aspires to help solve Pacific problems

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