The Women's Leadership Initiative is governed by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from the Pacific and Australia, including:
- Hon Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tu'uau, MP, Samoa (co-chair)
- Jean Martin, Gender Advisor, Oil Search Limited, Australia
- Teretia Tokam, Coordinator, Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre, Kiribati
- Dr Pamela Toliman, Senior Scientist, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Papua New Guinea (Australia Awards scholar representative)
- Amanda McIntyre, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Australia
- DFAT representatives
The Hon Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tu’uau was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in March 2016, as the member for Alataua West. Hon Alofa is a qualified accountant who worked in senior management positions prior to entering politics. Her roles included Chief Accountant for the Samoa Public Trust Office, Finance Manager for the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, and Finance Manager for the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Samoa.
Hon Alofa lives in Apia but regularly returns to her village on the island of Savai'i. She is committed to inspiring other women to take on leadership roles in the political sphere and in their communities.
Teretia Tokam is the inaugural Coordinator of the Kiribati Women and Children Support Centre.
Ms Tokam worked for the Attorney-General's office in Tarawa after she completed a law degree at the University of the South Pacific. Within the Attorney-General’s team, she was the Kiribati Country Focal Point for the Regional Rights Resource Team of the Pacific Community, where she was involved in advocacy and support for the drafting of the Te Rau N Te Mwenga (Family Peace) Act 2014. Ms Tokam has also held the role of National Coordinator on Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence at the then-Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs.
Ms Tokam is an Australia Awards alumna, having completed a Master’s of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development at the Australian National University.
Jean Martin is the Gender Advisor at Oil Search Foundation PNG, after holding the position of Head of Expansion Programs. Ms Martin is an active member of the Business Coalition for Women Addressing Violence Working Group and the NCD Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee in Papua New Guinea. She is passionate about investing in programs that genuinely respond to the needs of women and girls in Papua New Guinea – in particular, innovative community-driven programs.
Amanda McIntyre is currently a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, skilled in diversity policy, risk management, government operations, strategic planning, business process improvement and stakeholder management.
As Head of the Office for Women, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ms McIntyre led on the advancement of gender equality, with a focus on strengthening women’s economic security. This included strengthening women’s workforce participation, supporting more women into leadership positions, and ensuring that women and their children are safe from violence. Ms McIntyre has also worked as Chief Financial Officer with the Commonwealth Government of Australia.
Dr Pamela Toliman is a senior scientist at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, and part of the Institute’s COVID-19 scientific response team. Pamela has a Master of Medical Science and a PhD from the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, through which she evaluated novel cervical cancer screening algorithms in PNG.
In 2016, she received the Australia Award's Allison Sudradjat Prize in recognition of her outstanding qualities as a scholar and emerging leader. Dr Toliman has a keen interest in public health to improve development outcomes, and takes an active role in mentoring younger women researchers to ensure that women participate in science.
Dr Robert Christie is Assistant Secretary of the Education, Social Protection and Human Development Finance Branch (EHB) within the Human Development and Governance Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Prior to Dr Christie’s current role at DFAT he held other positions including Adviser to Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs; Adviser to Australia’s Executive Director at the World Bank; Head of the Office of Development Effectiveness; and Assistant Secretary for Pacific Aid Effectiveness and Advice Branch.
Robert was previously posted to Papua New Guinea. He holds a PhD in Economics from The University of Sydney.
Steering Committee purpose
- Provide advice on the Initiative's strategic direction
- Monitor the performance of the Initiative against its intended outcomes
- Review and endorse the Initiative's annual program of activities
- Monitor risks and propose risk mitigation strategies as appropriate
- Assist in connecting the Initiative with women leaders in Australia and the region
- Advocate for women's leadership in the region
Internal Reference Group
The Initiative's Internal Reference Group is comprised of representatives from the Australian Government's Gender Equality, Australia Awards and Scholarships, and Pacific branches.
The group meets quarterly and facilitates internal coordination and information sharing within the Australian Government.