Stories

Leadership, personality and strength – Lavinia ToVue

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

After working for a private agribusiness company in East New Britain Province, PNG for five years, Lavini To Vue took the opportunity to study. Now undertaking a Master's degree in Agribusiness at Brisbane's University of Queensland, on an Australia Awards Scholarship, Lavinia is also one of the first cohort of the Women's Leadership Initiative mentoring program.

Of this experience, she says that while she felt slightly intimidated, she has no regrets: 'It means a lot to me. I have not been part of a leadership program before and I am excited to be part of this journey with the other women. I had butterflies at first, thinking I was crazy because I did not really know what was expected of me in this program.'

Dealing with work challenges such as being a woman in a leadership position in a rural community, learning to identify and work with community leaders to amplify her own message, and often wearing many hats to get the job done, Lavinia typifies the leadership skills demonstrated by so many of the Women's Leadership Initiative cohort.

Working with her mentor, Tania Paul, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University, Lavinia is seeking to grow the skills to help her teach colleagues back home about the importance of quality standards and value adding for agricultural commodities.

As part of the Women's Leadership Initiative, Lavinia is also undertaking an internship with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). During this period, Lavinia will undertake a field visit to an ACIAR research site, as well as work with ACIAR's Capacity Building team on its 'Women in Agricultural Research Leadership' program design.

On the learnings so far from her Women's Leadership Initiative experience, she says she is closely reviewing her own leadership style: 'Where I fall now relative to the different leadership styles which define my strengths and weaknesses and where I can improve as an individual. I can see where I can improve or have to be mindful in order to help me achieve my goal.'

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This article was first published on Australia Awards Global Alumni.