2016 Greg Urwin Awards Recipients Announced
Five outstanding Pacific Islanders have been awarded the 2016 Greg Urwin Awards.
The Greg Urwin Awards are an Australian Government-Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) joint initiative. The Awards were established in 2008 to honour the memory and the legacy of the former Secretary General of PIFS and a former Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu, the late Mr Greg Urwin.
Funded through the Australian-funded Pacific Leadership Program (PLP), the Awards provide financial support for up to AUD 25,000.00 for outstanding Pacific Island professionals, researchers and emerging leaders. Recipients are funded to undertake a three to six-month placement with a regional organisation or institution that has the potential to contribute to positive development in the region.
More than 20 emerging leaders from the region have completed placements under the Awards. There were more than 45 applications from the region for this round of the Awards.
“The applications we received were of a very high calibre. The Awardees indicated their passion in their respective fields. They also demonstrated that their placements will not only provide them with professional experience but also assist them in developing their leadership capacity and contribute positively to their countries and the region,” said Dame Meg Taylor, PIFS Secretary General and the Chairperson of the Awards Selection Committee.
“The five Awardees have made and are currently making significant contributions to their fields of interest ranging from health research and children’s rights advocacy to sustainable fisheries. We congratulate them and wish them the best in their endeavours.”
The 2016 Greg Urwin Awardees are:
- Ms Adi Talanaivini Mafi (Tonga) is a Legal Officer with the Ministry of Justice. Ms Mafi will be based with the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) within the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Fiji to advocate for the rights of children within the Tongan criminal justice system and identify legal provisions that will eradicate legally mandated violence against children.
- Mr Hillary Toloka (Solomon Islands) is a Research Nurse based at the Atofi Adventist Hospital in the Solomon Islands. He envisions research and leadership as essential to improving health systems in the Solomon Islands. He will serve his placement at James Cook University in Australia where he hopes to build networks and partnerships between Solomon Islands researchers and international researchers.
- Dr Laila Seduadua (Fiji) is a Medical Doctor with postgraduate qualifications in paediatrics. Her area of focus is improving comprehensive care for children with cancer. She will serve her placement with the Christchurch Hospital Oncology Department and hopes that the placement will assist her to establish the Child Cancer Research and Registry for the Pacific.
- Ms Zuabe Tinning (Papua New Guinea) is a Program Coordinator in a health program in Morobe Province. She holds a Master’s Degree (Honors) in Public Health and has more than 10 years experience in sexual reproductive health. She is interested in promoting rural indigenous PNG women’s sexual reproductive and general health. She will serve her placement with Morobe Council of Women’s office of Community Development Division.
- Mr Melino Bain-Vete (Fiji) is an Environmental Consultant. He holds a Masters of Arts from the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London. He will be based in the office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), Majuro, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Melino hopes to broaden his expertise in natural resources and to review the PNA’s partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) which identify opportunities to improve the sustainability of tuna resources and increase the contributions of fisheries to the development of the Pacific.
The awards are co-managed by the Pacific Leadership Program and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.