Westpac Outstanding Women Awards Announced

Last Friday, on International Women’s Day, the 2019 Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards were announced at a ceremony in Port Moresby. Celebrated for their remarkable achievements, were two members of the KTF family – Petra Arifeae and Raylance Mesa. 

Now in their 12th year, the WOW awards acknowledge the achievements of women from Papua New Guinea across a range of categories including not-for-profit, public and private sectors, sporting and young achievers. 

Petra Arifeae, KTF’s Programs Manager, took out the Steamships not-for-profit award for her work in overseeing and co-delivering the roll-out of KTF’s Teach for Tomorrow project. Between 2016 – 2018, Petra managed the training of 3,685 elementary teachers from across 14 Provinces in PNG, enabling teachers to become fully qualified and certified and eligible for Government, Church and NGO funded payroll positions. Together, these teachers keep over 136,000 children in school across remote and rural PNG. 

“I am humbled and honoured as the recipient of the WOW award” said Mrs Arifeae. “It’s always lovely when your work is recognised and it’s a yardstick to measure the impact your work is having on people’s lives in rural communities.”

Raylance Mesa is a graduate from KTF’s Archer Leaders Development Program, and was awarded the IBBM Young Achievers Award and the Overall Westpac Woman of the Year award. Soon to graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Technology, Raylance was recognized for her work in bringing innovative design solutions to communities in remote Finschhafen in Morobe Province who are tackling rising sea levels caused by climate change. Raylance rallied huge support from within her community and designed and built sea walls to protect communities from the rising sea levels.                                 

“We are so proud of Petra, Raylance and all the finalists and winners of this year’s WOW awards” said Dr Genevieve Nelson, KTF CEO. “We need to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary efforts of women and girls more than ever and the WOW awards provide a wonderful platform to do so.”

Mike Nelson