Valentina and Jean

Valentina works as a Scientific Officer for the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority based in Port Moresby. She loves the cultural diversity of Papua New Guinea and contributes to the community by volunteering at the RSPCA.

Valentina feels that differing cultural views and perspectives can sometimes be misunderstood in Papua New Guinea, especially in sex education. She is interested to learn how to effectively communicate with people from different cultures in an empathetic way in order to break down barriers and taboos.

On completion of her studies, Valentina plans to utilise her networks to stay informed of community health awareness activities and utilise her leadership skills and medical science background to advocate for change.

Jean has a development background specialising in public health, gender, social inclusion and education. She has more than 13 years of experience supporting the private sector, governments, development agencies and nongovernment partners in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Jean has worked with various private sector partners particularly in response to addressing public health, violence against women and the broader gender issues in the development context. These include safety at work, gender smart policies and practices and leadership programs. She is passionate about investing in programs that genuinely respond to the needs of women and girls in PNG, especially innovative, community driven programs.