Mrs Afamasaga, influential teacher from Samoa

Seventy-year-old Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga has played an instrumental role in the education sector in her native Samoa for over 40 years. Ms Afamasaga started her career as a teacher, then went on to become a teacher trainer. In 1984, she was appointed Principal of Western Samoa Teachers College, a position she held for thirteen years. When the college merged with the National University of Samoa … Continue reading Mrs Afamasaga, influential teacher from Samoa

The first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia

Nadine Pidjot made history this May when she became the first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia. Following a successful career as a public servant for the Government of New Caledonia, the French High Commission in New Caledonia, and the French Embassy in Australia, she successfully created her own consulting company and is highly regarded among both Kanak and non-Kanak communities. During … Continue reading The first Kanak woman to take up law in New Caledonia

“It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

Reverend Sereima Lomaloma is an advocate for gender equality and the elimination of violence against women and children in Fiji and the Pacific, advocating through the Anglican church, House of Sarah and and other faith-based organisations since the early 2000s. For this portrait, she told the SPC that “It’s time for the church to also speak out against the injustices in society, violence in all … Continue reading “It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu

Mary is the coordinator and a founding member of Mamma’s Laef, a social enterprise run by six ni-Vanuatu women in Port Vila. Mamma’s Laef sew washable sanitary pads that they distribute to communities across Vanuatu, where women often do not have access to menstrual hygiene management products, instead using old cloth or other unreliable and unhygienic substitutes and missing days of work and school as … Continue reading She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu

This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a second-generation Fijian women’s rights advocate working at the intersection of gender and media. Following a successful high-profile career as a radio and television producer and presenter in Fiji, she helped establish femLINKpacific in 2000 as a regional women-led media organisation that advocates for Pacific women as decision makers in the long-term transformation of their respective island countries. In 2004, femLINK … Continue reading This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

Fijian human rights activist Noelene Nabulivou is a determined voice of disenfranchised women and people. As a brave, openly lesbian Pacific woman in a region where the LGBTI+ community continues to face discrimination, she works for justice for all Pacific islanders. Noelene is known for the political care, sharpness and passion of her work. “I love being a Pacific islander. We are funny, fierce and … Continue reading This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

A businesswoman in Vanuatu

Ni-Vanuatu businesswoman Rosemary Leona is living proof that Pacific women can stake a claim in the region’s male-dominated business scene. The fifty-four-year-old native of Pentecost Island has made a name for herself in two of Vanuatu’s key industries: tourism and kava. She is the proud owner of the recently launched Vila Rose Hotel in the heart of Port Vila. Rosemary has also run a successful … Continue reading A businesswoman in Vanuatu

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

Empowering adolescent girls in Tonga

Thirty-nine-year-old Vanessa Heleta has been a women’s rights activist in Tonga for more than a decade. As a young woman herself, she has made it her mission to empower adolescent girls through learning and awareness raising. Vanessa is the founder and Director of the Talitha Project, which runs a ‘drop-in centre’ for young women and girls in Tonga, providing security, counselling, training, income generation skills … Continue reading Empowering adolescent girls in Tonga

She fights for the LGBT community in the Pacific

As a transgender woman herself, Joey Joleen Mataele knows firsthand the struggles that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities face in her native Tonga and the greater Pacific region. As a singer and entertainer, she also understands the importance of oral culture and the role of song, humour and dance in Pacific cultures, which she has been using to elicit support … Continue reading She fights for the LGBT community in the Pacific