Kathleen Ratnasingam is from Kaivukavu Village, Ihu District, Gulf Province and has lived in Port Moresby, National Capital District since her childhood. In 2012, Kathleen was a recipient of the Archer Leadership Scholarship offer by Kokoda Track Foundation. Kathleen received her Bachelor Degree in Education (Secondary) in 2012 at Pacific Adventist University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education in May, 2014 from the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She is a lecturer and the Business Communication Course Coordinator at the International Training Institute – a private tertiary training institute at the Badili campus, Port Moresby. Her background and focus on community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Kathleen is the Founder and Executive Director of the Kathleen Rescue Me Foundation Inc. a non-profit organization recently established in PNG. She has recently begun studying another Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Development from Pacific Adventist University. Kathleen’s vision is to “give people hope to realize their full potential”.
My name is Wilma Mavea. I am the second last born child of 6 siblings. My parents are both originally from Eastern Highlands, Okapa district. They moved to Port Moresby in search of better life, they did odd jobs to make ends meet, and sent us to school.
I was fortunate to complete my Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Papua New Guinea. I became interested in Scientific Research in Ecology, Conservation and Environmental management work during freshman year and learnt about PNG’s rich, unique and iconic flora and fauna and how they are at risk of becoming extinct due to development.
Whilst at university, life was difficult, bunking up with best friends was the best option in cutting down costs of living. To make matters worse my mum passed away during my third year of studies. Everyday living was a challenge, sometimes I could go without having a meal, money or basic necessities.
I was immensely moved and speechless when I was awarded the Archer Leadership Scholarship in early 2015. I was able to live on campus as the scholarship package paid for my tuition fees and boarding and lodging. I also providing great mentoring sessions; my mentor Roxanne Martens was more of a great friend, provided a resource allowance that was used to purchase work boots, text books, camera, laptop, external hard drive, backpack, work suits (things I would never be able to purchase myself), a trip to Sydney, leadership trainings and work experience. The scholarship was a blessing, a dream come true in terms of travelling to Australia and being able to complete my final year of studies. I believe KTF guided me into a new perspective of my self-worth, Career, Community and World view.
In 2016 I was awarded a PNG LNG Exxon Mobil Honours scholarship run by University of Papua New Guinea in partnership with James Cook University. A scholarship that came about because of recently discovered Pidu dolphins at Kikori delta. I am excited to join Dr. Beasley (Dolphin expert) in this exciting journey.
I am deeply indebted to KTF for assisting me tremendously to complete my degree studies and made me advance in my education/career. To the sponsors of KTF, thank you! Your contribution has done a great deal for me and for similar students like me.
Run after your dream with passion! “Not All Of Us Can Do Great Things. But We Can Do Small Things With Great Love” Mother Teresa.
I was born and raised in the small town of Madang, in a neighbourhood that may be likened to Brooklyn NY. Where violence, drugs, alcohol, prostitution and poverty was normal. I was blessed with a strong-visionary mum who introduced me to a great escape from the grey world that surrounded us, and it fast became something I’m deeply passionate about, books. Between the pages I learnt of worlds far away that were so colourful and the grey past that they had. I read about fictional and real heroes/heroines – great leaders. I remember thinking to myself, I want to be courageous and compassionate like them, I want to help make this world a little better. This has led me to work with amazing organisations like The Voice Inc(PNG) ,Oaktree (Aus), volunteer with PNG Cancer Foundation, serve as a Student Leader with UPNG Students Services and assisting to facilitate Small Business development Trainings with Social Impact Consultancy (PNG) in the Finschhafen district of Morose Province. I am currently employed by the firm as a graduate consultant and Small Business Development Training facilitator.
In my final year of studies at the University of Papua New Guinea studying Banking & Finance (2015) I was awarded the Archer Leadership Scholarship. The vast range of experiences and people that the scholarship exposed me to has further reiterated that passion of being an agent of change. I realise now more than ever that change starts with me. That to lead means to serve. To be passionate and compassionate and to just do right. In Papua New Guinea that isn’t always easy, but I’m a believer that small things always count. As Vincent Van Gogh said, great things are done by a series of small things brought together. Leadership is more than articulate speeches and community projects. I think it’s about heart and influence.
To fellow young Papua New Guinean leaders; being recognised as a young leader is already such a powerful tool, you have the privilege and capacity to influence and inspire others around you with your speech, actions and posts on social media. Will you do right or say this is not my fight? Will you shine or add another shade of grey? I hope you shine. Wherever you are. Doing whatever you’re doing. Know that you’re important. That you’re building a better future for generations to come. And one day, when PNG is bursting with colours, you can say you helped to paint over a once grey area, even if it was just a spot.
Born in 1989, at the birth of the ten-year Bougainville Crisis, Eleanor spent her childhood years growing up in Siwai, South Bougainville. During the height of the crisis, Eleanor completed her primary schooling at Lonahan Primary School in North Bougainville and then went on to complete her secondary schooling at Tarlena Bishop Wade Secondary and Hutjena Secondary Schools.
Eleanor completed her degree in Arts, Social and Religious Studies at Divine Word University and graduated as a Bronze Medalist in 2014. In 2013, she was selected as one of the six recipients of the Archer Leadership Scholarship. During this year, she initiated a library project for Haisi Primary School in the Siwai district. The need for quality education in Bougainville is at a high demand and Eleanor worked with local authorities and resource suppliers to deliver materials aimed at improving literacy for primary aged children in remote areas.
Eleanor is currently working as a Research Officer with the Bougainville Peace Building Program based in Arawa, Central Bougainville. The program is a partnership between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and is currently funded through the Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (SPSN). Eleanor’s research is aimed at documenting the traditional conflict mediation approaches in Bougainville and documenting people’s stories of the Bougainville Crisis.
In 2016, Eleanor attended the PNG Women’s Forum in Port Moresby representing the Bougainville Peace Building Program.
UniMums was inspired by Tess’ experience as a young mother who was determined to study at university. With many PNG women giving birth to their first child in their teenage years, childrearing exists as one of the greatest barriers to education for young women. Tess was fortunate enough to have sufficient support to enable her to continue her studies after giving birth to her son; however many girls from her class were not as fortunate.
Tess’ Community Kickstarter Grant is supporting her to implement ‘Uni Mums’ in her university community, where young mothers are supported by the UniMums network to continue their tertiary education through practical support mechanisms. UniMums will run the “BUMP Mentoring Program”, developed by the Raise Foundation, where Tess undertook her training as part of her exchange visit to Australia. The BUMP program has been converted to be appropriate for the PNG context and will help young mums regain confidence in themselves and the motivation they need to successfully complete their university studies and obtain their degrees. The program includes mentoring, smart goal setting and career pathway advice whilst dealing with alcohol and other drugs and emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing.
This is a practical and responsive program that has the potential to alleviate some of the greatest barriers to education for young PNG mothers.