Kaunanga and Anne

Hehea is the first female CEO of her family owned construction company. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems with a minor in Economics and an MBA in Finance.

A strong advocate of private sector development, Kaunanga represented the Tongan private sector at a Public-Private Dialogue hosted by the National Reserve Bank in 2011. She has also held roles as Assistant Treasurer for Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Secretary of Tonga’s Manufacturing Association.

On her return to Tonga, Kaunanga plans to pursue a career in government, where she hopes to foster innovative policy approaches that empower local businesses, enhance cooperation between public and private sectors, and contribute to Tonga’s longer term economic growth.

Anne has 30 years of policy experience in Australia and across four continents. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of public, private and community sector organisations in Australia and overseas, as well as the Chief of Staff to government ministers. Anne has worked in rural development in Asia and the Pacific, developing and implementing economic development, poverty alleviation, health and education, and environmental management programs.

Anne was the Policy and Planning Director at the South Australian Department of Agriculture, the Chief of Staff for the South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Correctional Services, and the Policy Adviser for the Federal Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Hon John Kerin. She has cross sector expertise in managing multimillion-dollar, multidisciplinary projects funded by agencies such as the United Nations, World Bank, ADB, DFID and the Australian Government.