Dr Cecilia Nembou made history in January 2016 when she became the first woman to lead a university in Papua New Guinea. A mathematician by training with a PhD in Operations Research from the University of New South Wales, Dr Nembou has served an academic and higher education administrator for over 40 years. She has held various academic and senior management positions at the University of PNG, PNG Banking Corporation, University of Wollongong in Dubai and Divine Word University, where she is the current president and vice-chancellor.
Dr Nembou has used her influence to further women’s rights in PNG as a former board member of Coalition for Change PNG Inc, a community based not for profit advocacy group launched in November 2007 to address the issue of gender based violence, particularly violence in the home. The coalition was instrumental in putting together and lobbying for the adoption of the country’s Family Protection Act, which makes domestic violence a criminal offence.
The 70 Inspiring Pacific Women campaign has been produced by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with Australian Aid and Pacific Women. The campaign marks the 70th anniversary of SPC, and leads up to the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women in Suva (Fiji) from 2nd to 5th October 2017.