I have an extensive background in business development, finance and administration in New Zealand, and had first heard about VSA at primary school, when Sir Edmund Hillary was the organisation’s president. When the opportunity to volunteer and use my professional background in Bougainville came up in 2016, I leapt at the chance.
I volunteered in Bougainville for two years with Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, and with Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre, led by the inspiring Sister Lorraine Garasu. I loved working alongside the amazingly resilient people, and have grown to love Bougainville – I was honoured to be adopted into the Nabeon clan, and given the name Muta.
The Bougainville Programme Manager position opened up as I was finishing my assignment in 2018, so I have continued to make Bougainville my home, and have been building on the long relationship VSA has here to ensure our volunteers work in great partnerships with local colleagues and communities.