She led the way for women in Tahitian politics

In 1976, Béatrice Vernaudon, then a young social worker, was selected to serve as French Polynesia’s representative at a Pacific Community (SPC) meeting in Suva to determine the course curriculum for the organisation’s Education and Training Centre. “That’s when I first developed political awareness by working alongside women committed to obtaining independence for their countries and by being criticized myself for the nuclear testing in … Continue reading She led the way for women in Tahitian politics

She made French Polynesia a strong nation in athletics

Titaua Juventin is a long-serving and respected member of the athletics community in the Pacific. She has a broad background in teaching and coaching, having worked in teacher training with the Ministry of Education in Tahiti. Ms Juventin’s passion is athletics, especially with young people and children. She successfully adapted the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) Federation’s children’s program in Tahiti and also introduced a … Continue reading She made French Polynesia a strong nation in athletics

The midwife who became the fist woman in government in Wallis and Futuna

Esitele Fuluhea Lakalaka knows firsthand the struggles of women in her native Wallis and Futuna. She began her career at a young age in the late 60s in the French territory’s health sector, firstly as a secretary and interpreter, then as a midwife delivering births at Sia Hospital, then finally as an management executive at the hospital. Ms Lakalaka then became interested in public affairs … Continue reading The midwife who became the fist woman in government in Wallis and Futuna

New huge marine protected area around Easter Island

The Chilean Government has announced a few days ago that a huge ocean patch the size of Chile around Rapa Nui (the native name of Easter island) was now a Marine protected area. That means that all kinds of industrial exploitation of natural ressources in these waters are now forbidden. Industrial fishing or mining, for instance, are now banned. The residents of Easter island were … Continue reading New huge marine protected area around Easter Island

How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

Pacific islands are suffering from regular epidemics of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. In a decade-long dance around our Ocean, these viruses continually migrate to countries where the population has lost its immunity… But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done. Since the arrival of the Zika Virus, probably imported from African soccer players during the Beach Soccer World Cup of 2013 in Tahiti, … Continue reading How do we fight epidemics across the Pacific Ocean?

Portrait of Dame Meg Taylor, a leading Pacific diplomat and politician

When Dame Meg Taylor was appointed Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum in August 2014, she became the first woman to hold this post. A national of Papua New Guinea, she began her professional life as Private Secretary to Chief Minister Michael Somare during self-government of Papua New Guinea, and then during his tenure as Prime Minister of an independent Papua New Guinea. She … Continue reading Portrait of Dame Meg Taylor, a leading Pacific diplomat and politician

This Cook Islands parliamentarian is a champion of democracy in the Pacific

Niki Rattle was first appointed Speaker of Parliament of the Cook Islands in 2012, then reappointed in 2014. Her role is to ensure that the functions of parliament are carried out in accordance with the constitution, and the standing orders and procedures of parliament. Upholding the integrity and dignity of the House of Parliament is a critical part of Ms Rattle’s role. Ms Rattle is … Continue reading This Cook Islands parliamentarian is a champion of democracy in the Pacific

From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

Suliana Siwatibau, 77, has made immense contributions to the Pacific region over many decades, working across multiple fields including science, environment, leadership and activism for peace, democracy and human rights. A botanist by training, Mrs Siwatibau started out teaching science at secondary school level in Fiji, then later biology at the University of the South Pacific before switching to agricultural research. She was also a … Continue reading From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

Seventy-three-year-old retired politician Adi Finau Tabakaucoro has spent a lifetime advocating for the interests of indigenous Fijian women and girls. She is the current President of the largest women’s civil society organisation in Fiji; Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Viti, which works in the country’s 14 provinces on village, district and provincial matters as well as national development policies, programming, laws, regulations and services. A wide range of … Continue reading She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

‘Utoikamanu is the highest ranking Pacific Island person at the UN

In April, Tonga’s Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu was appointed the United Nations’ High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and Under Secretary General, making her the highest ranking Pacific Island person at the UN. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu has a wealth of national, regional and international experience in various senior leadership positions. Prior to her latest appointment, she was Chief … Continue reading ‘Utoikamanu is the highest ranking Pacific Island person at the UN