Pacific Women Advisory Board

The Pacific Women Advisory Board (Pacific Women) comprises a number of eminent Pacific Island women and men. The members of the Advisory Board are strong advocates for gender equality in their own communities.

The purpose of the Pacific Women Advisory Board is to provide advice on the strategic direction of Pacific Women. The Advisory Board reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to a Pacific-led response to improving the opportunities for political, economic and social advancement of Pacific women.

Members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Ms Andie Fong Toy, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s Economic Governance and Security programme, (Fiji/Regional);
  • Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, Secretary, Department of Justice and Attorney-General (PNG);
  • Ms Jane Kesno, Former Head of the Women’s Division and Director of the Office of Home Affairs  (now the Department of Community Development) (PNG);
  • Ms Natalia Palu Latu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Policy and Reform Division, Ministry of Finance and National Planning (Tonga);
  • Reverend Sereima Lomaloma, Ministry Officer, Anglican Diocese of Polynesia & Chairperson of House of Sarah (Fiji);
  • Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (Samoa);
  • Ms Savina Nongebatu, Immediate past female Co-Chairperson of the Pacific Disability Forum, former President of ‘People With Disability’ Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands);
  • Mrs Merilyn Tahi, Coordinator of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (Vanuatu);
  • Ms Lesieli Taviri, Chairperson of the PNG Business Coalition for Women and Chief Executive Officer of Origin LPG (PNG);
  • Ms Maere Tekanene, Former Minister of Education (Kiribati);
  • Dr. Colin Tukuitonga, Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Regional/Niue); and
  • Ms Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance (RMI)

Ms Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, is an observer to the Advisory Board. Ms Stott Despoja AM, has represented Australia at international meetings such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the APEC Women and the Economy Forum, the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women Peace and Security, the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict, the G(irls) 20 Summit and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children. She is also the founding Chair of Our Watch (Australia’s Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children).   As a former Senator for South Australia (1995-2008) and former Leader of the Australian Democrats, Ms Stott Despoja is the youngest woman ever to enter the Australian Federal Parliament.

The first Advisory Board meeting was held in Canberra on 10 April 2013;  the second on 12 August 2014 ; the third on 4 November 2015. The fourth will be held on 4-5 April 2016. The Advisory Board convenes annually.

Related Resources:

Terms of Reference for Pacific Women Advisory Board

Pacific Women Board November Meeting Report - 2016

Pacific Women Board April Meeting Report - 2016

Pacific Women Board November Meeting Report - 2015

Pacific Women Board August Meeting Report - 2014

Pacific Women Board April Meeting Report - 2013

Pacific Women Advisory Board April 10 Meeting Agenda - 2013



Related Links:
Latest News: Inaugural Meeting of the Pacific Women Advisory Board