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Papua New Guinean Women Win Queen’s Young Leaders Award

by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Two young Papua New Guinean women are the recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award.

The award recognises the work of exceptional young people in Commonwealth countries who are making a positive impact in the lives of others. And this year, Johnetta Lili and Theresa Gizoria are among 60 winners of this esteemed youth award.

Johnetta Lili, Co-founder of Carteret Campaign.

Johnetta Lili, a graduate from the University of PNG, works to raise awareness of the rights of young people in her community.

She had worked for Equal Playing Field, a non-government organisation that works to prevent violence against women through promoting gender equality, and co-founded the Carteret Campaign which is an effort to help people from the Carteret Islands in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville who are affected by climate change, and furthermore raise awareness on the global issue.

The 23-year-old is now working on a project to raise awareness on cancer treatment and awareness.

Theresa Gizoria, Founder of UniMums Inc.

Along with Johnetta is 27-year-old Theresa Gizoria. Theresa is the founder of UniMums Inc., a non-government organisation dedicated to working with and helping young mothers and parents in tertiary institutions. She is also a very active volunteer with Advancing PNG Women Leaders Network, Women Arise PNG, Australia-PNG Emerging Leaders Network and the Kokoda Track Foundation.

The two young women will be at the Buckingham Palace in London to receive their accolade from Her Majesty, The Queen on Thursday, 29 June.

Before collecting their awards, they will have a weeklong residential programme in the UK, where they will meet other inspiring people and visit organisations that have expertise in areas such as media and communications, social action and advocacy. This will help equip them with more knowledge and skills, inspire them and create networks to work with.

Another privilege of this award is gaining more insight into their line of work with the help of a mentor for each winner. Each mentor assigned has significant experience and expertise and will support each winner over the course of the year to continue to carry out their work.

“We are delighted that these incredible young people have been selected as Queen’s Young Leaders, and wish our warmest congratulations to each and every one of them,” Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said.

Another young Papua New Guinean is a runner up, Kasek Galgal, a researcher and academic at the University of PNG, and his work helps to engage, connect and inform locals with the use of the internet.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards programme is now in its third year and continues to boost winners as well as runners up to carry on doing their exceptional work.

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