The woman who made Palau the only nuclear-free country in the world

The late Gabriela Ngirmang, Mirair of Koror, was instrumental in giving the world its first nuclear-free constitution. As  Mirair (leading woman for the eastern side of the state of Koror), Gabriela Ngirmang was the leader of Otil A Beluad (the Anchor of the Land) women’s organisation for 50 years. When she died at the age of 84 in 2007, she had been a central figure … Continue reading The woman who made Palau the only nuclear-free country in the world

The Pacific has 4 of the 10 most liveable cities in the world

Like each year, the Economist has just released its annual global liveability survey. And guess what? Out of the top 10 countries in which life is the coolest, according to the study, four are situated in the Pacific Ocean Area, more precisely in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The top one of the economist’s list is Melbourne, in Australia. Moreover, the city has managed to keep the first … Continue reading The Pacific has 4 of the 10 most liveable cities in the world

Billabong Pro: the surf stars offer 90 backpacks to Tahitian kids

Last week, the island of Tahiti hosted one of the 11 events of the WSL Men’s Championship Tour, surf’s main title, on the Teahupo’o reef spot. But just before the competition, the organisation received an irresistible request from the local town: local kids needed backpacks for the beginning of the school year and the municipality didn’t have the money… The WSL Hawaii, with its president Jody Wilmott, … Continue reading Billabong Pro: the surf stars offer 90 backpacks to Tahitian kids

Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

Sashi Kiran is the trailblazing founder and chief executive officer of a grassroots not-for-profit that provides economic opportunities for underserved communities in Fiji. She started Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development, or FRIEND as it is better known, after Fiji’s 2000 political crisis to create income generating opportunities for women and men from rural and peri-urban settlements and villages, youth and people with special … Continue reading Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

Meet Neta, a scientist from Tonga who united the Pacific islands against climate change

As the former director of the Climate Change Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for the past seven and a half years, Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, or Neta as she is widely known, led Pacific Island efforts in tackling the single most pressing issue facing the region today. She brought over 20 years of experience in climate change, coastal management and … Continue reading Meet Neta, a scientist from Tonga who united the Pacific islands against climate change

Janet Sape, PNG champion of women’s rights

When Janet Sape died late July at the age of 58, the Pacific region lost one its best-known advocates on women’s issues, particularly on the need for economic empowerment and financial freedom. She was the founder and Executive Director of PNG Women in Business. As a Director on the Board of Women’s Microbank, Janet was instrumental in establishing the organisation – the first microfinance institution … Continue reading Janet Sape, PNG champion of women’s rights

The poet from Solomon Islands who breaks social taboos

Sixty-four-year-old Solomon Islander Jully Makini Purcell could not have been a more fitting recipient of the 2017 International Woman of Courage Award from the United States Secretary of State, which she received in June. For several decades now, Jully has been courageously speaking out on issues that have long been considered taboo in her country such as violence against women and children. A published writer … Continue reading The poet from Solomon Islands who breaks social taboos

Takiora Ingram: an artist and a social fighter

Takiora Ingram has made significant contributions to improving the status of women in her native Cook Islands and the wider Pacific region over the last 40 years. She has been an effective leader in establishing public policy for improved marine resource management, and promoting Pacific Island visual and performing arts and artists, in her roles as Chair of the Pacific Islands Arts Committee of Creative … Continue reading Takiora Ingram: an artist and a social fighter

Isabelle Tyuienon: the New Caledonian teacher who married tradition and modernity

For several decades now, 57-year-old former school teacher Isabelle Tyuienon has defended and promoted women’s rights in her native New Caledonia. Hailing from Canala commune in the Northern Province where she still resides, Isabelle has rallied women in her community to take on issues such as alcohol abuse and sexual violence. Ms Tyuienon was instrumental in the creation of a women’s federation in her province … Continue reading Isabelle Tyuienon: the New Caledonian teacher who married tradition and modernity

The anthropologist who dedicated her life to keep Palauan culture alive

The late Katharine Kesolei, or Kathy as she was better known, devoted more than 30 years of her life to the cultural, educational and economic advancement of the Palauan people. “In today’s world, people are beginning to reconsider these indigenous cultures. They now realize that this ‘white’ society that imposes some of their values on us is a kind of oppression…I’m not saying it in … Continue reading The anthropologist who dedicated her life to keep Palauan culture alive