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, Office Manager, People with Disabilities (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, Pacific Community (Regional/Niue); and
  • Ms Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance (RMI)

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 term as Ambassador ended in 2016.

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