Financial Education – Women in Business Dialogue Communiqué

Pacific Connect Network Dialogue

Financial Education – Women in Business 

11-12 November 2019, Brisbane, Australia


  1. We, the participants of the Pacific Connect Network Dialogue on Financial Education – Women in Business, met on 10-12 November 2019 in Brisbane, Australia at the invitation of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP), with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
  2. We would like to thank our hosts – ICDP – for their excellent itinerary and warm welcome to Brisbane, and Queensland Parliament House and The Storyboxes for hosting the event. We also thank Catherine Fritz-Kalish and Pauline Benson for their facilitation of the sessions and for sharing their personal and business journeys. We also thank speakers Simone Joyce, Peta Ellis and Dr Annie McAuley for sharing their inspiring stories and business insights with us.
  3. We acknowledge that capacity building is important to Pacific peoples in business and thank ICDP for organising a Financial Education Masterclass and Grant Writing Workshop that supports knowledge transfer within the broader Pacific Connect network. We thank Andrew Carriline and Dr Anna Blackman for their informative sessions that will equip us to enhance financial literacy and access to funding for both personal and business growth.
  4. We congratulate the organisers for assembling a remarkable array of emerging leaders from the Pacific and Australia. Participants had diverse backgrounds and experiences across a number of sectors, including business development, communications, entrepreneurship and start-ups, government, academia, information and communication technologies, agriculture, social enterprise, banking and NGOs.
  5. We applaud Australia’s step-up in engagement with the Pacific and its commitment to build stronger, long-lasting relationships with Pacific Island nations. We believe that Pacific Connect and the ‘Second Track’ process offer opportunities to collaborate and build personal rapport in an informal, consultative environment that encourages positive, fresh thinking and a personal interest in achieving practical results. ‘Second Track’ offers a safe and neutral platform to share stories and experiences, extend networks, broaden opportunities for professional and personal development, and explore projects and ideas for future collaboration.
  6. We recognise the need to empower women in the Pacific and the growing role of female entrepreneurs in economic and social development across the region. Providing educational opportunities in key areas will help facilitate female leadership of projects and networks and encourage more women to create their own enterprises and in turn navigate Pacific economies and benefit all members of society.
  7. We agree that digital technologies play an increasingly important role in people’s lives and have the potential to transform the livelihoods of Pacific communities. We have learned through examples such as Paypa Plane, Trible Global and TalkiPlay about the positive power of digital technologies to streamline services, identify and develop community-led projects and aid in early language development.
  8. We considered several areas for potential projects which Dialogue participants could pursue collectively or in subgroups. These include:
    1. The creation of a Pacific label similar to AusMade to enable consumers to verify authenticity;
    2. Development of a business hub for rural women in Fiji and Samoa;
    3. Adoption of an agricultural information app to encourage Pacific youth to engage in farming;
    4. Enhancing supply chains in the Solomon Islands using Pacific Finds;
    5. Adapting TalkiPlay for saving and teaching languages in the Pacific; and
    6. The creation of a business hub for youth in Samoa
  9. We will continue discussing and developing these ideas and other opportunities through further meetings, ICDP’s Slack forum and other communication mediums. While not every idea from the Dialogue may come to fruition, we hope that the time and effort spent in the Dialogue will strengthen our personal links and form a foundation of longer-term relationships.
  10. We welcomed the opportunity to visit Fishburners Co-Working space and understand that organisations such as these can provide provide a great platform for ideas development and collaboration.
  11. We welcome the opportunity to be invited to participate in the Pacific Connect Ideas Exchange, planned for Sydney, Australia on 16-17 September 2020, and look forward to forming closer bonds with other members of the fast-growing Pacific Connect Community.