By Patricia Keamo, EMTV Cadet Journalist – Port Moresby
Hosted on the eve of International Women’s Day on 8th March, it was a special and memorable evening for the finalists of Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards. This is the 12th year of the WOW awards and 21 women who have contributed to the improvement of Papua New Guinea were recognised as finalists.
The WOW awards were presented in seven categories as well as the overall winner. The 2019 finalists for the WOW Awards were recognised by their significant contributions to the community and the country as a whole.
The awards presented for the seven categories are as follows; The Exxon Mobil PNGLNG Public Sector Award was presented to Betty Jacobs, a Senior Provincial Magistrate in Western Highlands Province. The Young Achievers Award sponsored by IBBM was awarded to Raylance Mesa, an architect by profession. The sports award sponsored by Moore Printing was awarded to the first female coach of PNG’s National Football Team, Margaret Aka. Price WaterhouseCoopers’ Private Sector Award was given to Hillary Turnamur, the first woman in the country to be appointed a senior mining management position. SP Brewery’s Entrepreneurs’ Award was given to Vani Nades, founder and CEO of EmStret Holdings Limited. The Not for profit award sponsored by Steamship was awarded to Petra Arifeae and Trukai’s Community Award was given to Freda Yakio.
For the first time, a woman under 30 was named the overall Westpac Outstanding Women of the year, 24-year-old Young Achiever Awardee, Raylance Mesa.
Westpac PNG’s new CEO, Brett Hooker, stressed on the need to recognise women’s achievement on International Women’s Day and always.
Last year’s winner of IBBM Young Achievers Awards, Crystal Kewe, encouraged the finalists and the awardees to continue their work in contributing to the country.