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PNG Women’s Forum: Wok Bung Wantaim lo Kirapim Senis

PIF Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor to Share Journey at 2015 PNG Women’s Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum’s first female Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, DBE, will be a key speaker at the 2015 Papua New Guinea (PNG) Women’s Forum.  This premier event, cohosted by the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the PNG government, will take place from March 9 to 11 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  Local participants for the Forum will be selected through a competitive nomination process.  The deadline for nominations to participate in the Forum has just been extended to January 30.

Taylor has over 20 years of experience working in the region and internationally, including serving as Vice President and Compliance Advisor Ombudsman with the World Bank Group and as Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico, and Canada.  Prior to this, she practiced law in Papua New Guinea, served as a member of the Law Reform Commission, served on the boards of several companies and both national and international conservation organizations, and worked as Private Secretary to Sir Michael Somare through both self-government and Papua New Guinea’s independence.  Taylor will share her incredible journey from growing up on one of the first coffee plantations in Goroka to being the first woman ever to head up Pacific Islands Forum, an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between Pacific island countries.  Her mentoring advice will inspire women of all ages to always look ahead, be hungry to learn, and seek out connections to achieve results.        

This year’s Forum is focused on advancing gender justice and economic opportunity for women.  The Forum will draw participants and speakers from PNG and the world.  The U.S. Embassy also announced two other featured speakers in early January, and several more will be announced in the coming weeks.  Rear Admiral Cari Thomas, one of the highest ranking officers in the U.S. Coast Guard, will tell the inspiring story of how she made it to the top in a male-dominated profession and share her strategies for overcoming gender barriers.  Admiral Thomas is the Commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, which has an area of responsibility that spans over 12.2 million square miles and includes the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, American Samoa and activities in Saipan, Singapore and Japan. 

Marga Fripp, the Founder and President of Empowered Women International, will lead a seminar on best practices in business management that will give PNG businesswomen and NGO leaders tips and tools to be more successful in their work.  Fripp is an award-winning social entrepreneur and international consultant in women’s leadership and empowerment with 20 years of experience solving social problems through the arts, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  Other speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

There is no cost to attend the Forum.  All are welcome to apply to attend.  To nominate yourself or someone from your community to participate, fill out the nomination form available on the U.S. Embassy’s website at:  http://portmoresby.usembassy.gov/women.html.  Nomination forms are also available in hard copy at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the American Corner inside the National Library in Port Moresby.  

Priority for participation will be given to women serving in leadership roles within community and civil society groups, individual women leaders and women’s empowerment advocates, female business owners, emerging young leaders, up and coming public servants, and men with a strong interest in women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Sponsored travel and lodging is available for a selected number of participants thanks to sponsorship from the U.S. Embassy, the Australian High Commission Papua New Guinea, and ExxonMobil PNG.  The Embassy and the PNG Government would like to thank the Australian High Commission, ExxonMobil PNG, and the Crowne Plaza for their generous support for the Forum.  We welcome additional collaboration from other international partners and corporations.

A draft agenda for the Forum is available at http://portmoresby.usembassy.gov/women.html.  Stay tuned for updates. 

For more information on the Forum, or if you need the nomination form faxed to you, contact the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby by phone (+675-321-1455, x2211); fax (+675-321-1593); or e-mail (pdportmoresby@state.gov).

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