As the Pacific Connect Community (PCC) continues to grow and strengthen it has become integral to ongoing collaboration and networking, development of program activities and support of new and existing projects. To further bolster the PCC in 2020 ICDP established Community Hubs in seven Pacific locations to support in-country activities and PCC networking. These Hubs serve as a pop-up meeting space for virtual dialogues and workshops. Each in-country PCC Hub is organised by a long-term member of Pacific Connect known as the PCC Hub Coordinator. The Hub Coordinator is responsible for coordinating logistics and local activities, providing feedback to ICCP on program activities, and advocating on behalf of the program while gaining leadership experience.
A long-term member of our Community, Brian is Managing Director of ‘IT Sup’, an IT consultancy firm located in Honiara since 2015. Previously ICT Network Administrator at the Solomon Islands National University, Brian is an information technology enthusiast with extensive start-up development and advertising experience. Brian attended ICDP’s first dialogue in Fiji in 2018 and has since attended numerous PCC activities as alumnus and Hub Coordinator. Brian has also provided valuable in-country support for the Pacific Technology Academy Coding & E-Commerce training in the Solomon Islands.
Olisana is a Co-Founder of THE HUB, a platform built to host meetings, foster collaboration, and connect Samoa the world. In addition to working as a digital educator, marketing consultant and event management specialist at THE HUB, Olisana is also the Founding Curator for Global Shapers Apia. Joining the PCC at its inaugural Ideas Exchange in 2018, Olisana was inspired to follow her dream of establishing THE HUB. ICDP also introduced and supported Olisana to establish the first Pacific-based Global Shapers Hub as its Founding Curator.
Olisana is committed to increasing representation for Young Pacific Leaders on the international stage. Her goal is to build a platform and make more opportunities available to Samoans and Pacific Islanders, so that they are visible and vocal on issues such as climate change, education and employment, and gender equality. Olisana continues to gain professional development opportunities within the PCC through facilitation of two Dialogues in 2020 (Water, June; Side Hustle, December) and is a Project member of the ‘Shifting Homes’ AR/VR Samoa workshop series.
Port Moresby, PNG
Caroline Awaita is ICDP’s Port Moresby Hub Coordinator and is also a Business Development Manager and Project Manager, based in Papua New Guinea. Caroline has a background in business training and development and is currently Business Development Executive at Skybiz PNG Limited. She has been working closely with HC Port Moresby and a small team to broaden the activities of ICDP into regional areas. She is currently negotiating with the PNG government about an ICDP partnership program for capacity building. Over the course of Caroline’s career, she has developed expertise in achieving revenue goals and maintaining healthy sales pipelines, maintaining good working relationships with existing clients to enhance client retention and new sales through referrals and references, identifying and developing new and existing referral sources to develop successful referring relationships, actively identifying and generating prospects through strategic sales strategies focusing on customers in target markets.
Julliane is Managing Director of Tok Stret Consulting, which she founded in 2017 with her partner. The businesses is focused on developing organisations in Lae and wider PNG through business and personal skills development and using social media as a marketing and communications tool. Tok Stret also provides mentoring and leadership courses for emerging businesses. Julliane’s clients range from MSMEs to major PNG corporates and multi-nationals, NGOs and Landowner Groups. Julliane has been a PCC alumnus since first attending a Pacific Connect dialogue in Brisbane in 2019 and has been a strong advocate for the Pacific Connect program in Lae after being inspired to start up the Lae Innovation Hub whilst attending the ICDP Annual Ideas Exchange in September 2019. (Interview with Julliane)
Salote recently embarked on an initiative to establish the first formalised aquaculture farmers association (Tilapia Fiji), partnering with Ministry of Fisheries and Pacific Secretariat. She is also developing the Garden Weavers outreach program as part of the community arm within their business, Landscaping Solutions Fiji. This program focuses on: 1) Landscapes, Health and Well-being; 2) Women and Youth Entrepreneurship; 3) Environmental Stewardship and 4) Agribusiness and Support to local farmers. Salote is a member of the Pacific Finds project team, an online marketplace idea expanded through its Founder, Pauline Benson’s involvement in Pacific Connect Dialogues. Salote first attended a Pacific Connect dialogue in June 2019 and has participated in a number of ICDP activities including: 2019 & 2020 Ideas Exchange, Storytelling & Digital Media Dialogue, AgTech Dialogue, and numerous Fiji PCC networking events.
Okalani co-founded Onelook with her sister Olisana. Onelook is a B2C e-commerce store that specialises in merchandising paper and textile goods, promoting local and neurodiverse creators, art-repreneurs, youth and women-owned MSMEs. Okalani is the Vice President & co-founder of the first Environmental Student Body at the National University of Samoa – Lanulau’ava Student Association. It is a youth-led organisation that aims to raise awareness about the effect and impact of Climate Change on SIDS as well as provide a platform that empowers youth to raise their voice and tell their story. She recently graduated from the Ka Hao Indigenous eCommerce Training and received the “Top Seller In The Pacific” Award.
Dr Anna Blackman
Over the last two decades, Anna has extensively studied, taught and published about business coaching, human resources and business management, as well as rural and regional leadership. Online teaching and learning, as part and parcel of modern university life, is also one of Anna’s specialties. In 2019, Anna co-founded Talent Insight Solutions, alongside Kylie Ellwood, to pursue the practical, applied side of her expertise, and continues to direct this company. Anna co-delivers mentoring workshops for the Pacific Connect program and has a passion for working with others to incorporate change whether it be with SME business owners, large organisations, educational institutions, students at both the undergraduate or postgraduate level. She has designed industry specific coaching workshops for the Tourism and Education sectors, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas and the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences.
Selu formed a group named Tonga Women in ICT Tonga. Since its establishment, they have been talking to schools encouraging more girls to learn ICT. She has delivered sessions on cyber security & cyber crime and has delivered sessions to high school students on behalf of CocoNect (women in ICT in Tonga) encouraging ICT opportunities. Selu has presented to the Cabinet and other Line Ministries in Tonga on e-Government projects in the country. She is a recipient of Japanese Government Scholarship offered to Tonga 2009, a Bachelors in Computer Science and Information Technology, Certificate in Computer Engineering Osaka Institute of Technology – Osaka, Japan. Connected with ICDP in 2018. Selu can also speak and write in Tongan, English and Japanese.
Kylie has 20 years’ experience in corporate and small business management, account management, strategic visioning, small business systems, tools and processes, coaching, training and development. Kylie is passionate about helping people to develop their skills to increase their personal and professional wealth. In 2019, Kylie co-founded Talent Insight Solutions, alongside Dr Anna Blackman and works with people to: increase performance, productivity and profit, improved customer service, sales and leadership skills, increase staff retention, motivation and office culture, and has many other areas of expertise. In addition to her Extended DISCMaster Trainer qualification, Kylie is an NLP Master Practitioner, an Institute ofSocial and Emotional Intelligence (ISEI) Certified Coach, and a FinxS Master Trainer.
After 17 years with ANZ Banking Group PNG, Georgina decided to leave the bank and concentrate on her own coffee venture. She had 17 years’ experience in the banking and finance industry of which, 12 years were in Lending and, 5 years in various retail and retail operations roles. She developed knowledge and understanding of various business industry and markets from Small Businesses to Emerging and Large Corporates. She is the Convenor for Economic Empowerment for Soroptimist International of Lae Club. She has planned and organised financial literacy programmes for communities in the Lae District. So far, over 250 participants have attended and have been facilitated by ANZ. She has also planned and organised a flea market in Lae, held annually, on public holidays. From the flea market, she gathered women who sew clothing, to display their designs in a mini fashion show, done in collaboration with Gender Based Violence Month, in order to raise awareness for GBV. Her coffee product, a coffee in a bag concept, was invited to be displayed and participate in various APEC 2018 competitions and demonstrations.
Shurti is the Pacific Connect Hub Coordinator for Nadi/Lautoka based members of the network. She is currently a Customer Wellness Champion with Fiji Airways and has extensive history as a physiotherapist, working in both private and public physiotherapy services. She’s passionate about women’s health and physical activity, and greater opportunities for women in leadership. Shurti joined the Pacific Connect network in early 2020 and has since become part of our inaugural Hub Coordinators team. As a Hub Coordinator, Shurti represents the Pacific Connect Community in organising and facilitating Workshops, Dialogues and networking events, being a key member of the Pacific Connect team in-country. She is a Graduate of Leadership Fiji 2019 and Graduate of Women on Fiji – an organisation focused on empowering women and creating a network for support.
Ralmaylyn Kumbou is the Admin Officer for Tok Stret Consulting Limited as well as a member of the Lae SME Incubator Hub, with a focus on helping develop local businesses in Lae. The business is focused on developing businesses in Lae, and PNG, through business and personal skill development and using social media as a marketing and communication tool, providing website solutions through the business.