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Five Pacific Islanders receives 2016 Greg Urwin Award

Five Pacific Islanders emerging leaders including a law practitioner working with the Tongan Ministry of Justice , Adi Talanaivini Mafi received the 2016 Greg Urwin awards with Solomon Islander Hillary Toloka a research nurse, Dr Laila Seduadua a Medical Doctor in Fiji, PNG's Zuabe Tinning a Health Program Coordinator and Melino Bain Vete an Environmental Consultant in Fiji.

The awards provide financial support of up to AUD$25,000 (US$17,772) for these emerging leaders to take up the six-months placement with a regional organization that has the potential to contribute towards positive development in the region.

Dame Meg Taylor PIFS Secretary-General and Chairperson of the Awards Selection Committee said the five awardees have made and are currently making significant contributions to their fields of interest ranging from health research, children rights advocacy to sustainable fisheries.

Adi told Matangi Tonga she is deeply honoured to have received this award and is grateful to the Australian Government funding for giving opportunities to Pacific Islanders to pursue issues directly relevant to the development of their respective countries and region as a whole.

“I am grateful also for the support I have received from the Ministry of Justice to take up this opportunity to raise awareness in the Tongan society as to the rights of children within the criminal justice system. I hope that this will get people talking about their views on this very important issue.”

She will be based with the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Fiji to advocate for children's rights within the Tongan criminal justice system and identify legal provisions that will eradicate legally mandated violence against children.

40 year-old  Fijian Dr Laila Seduadua is a Medical Doctor with postgraduate qualifications in pediatrics.

Her area of focus is improving comprehensive care for children with cancer. She will serve her placement with the Christchurch Hospital Oncology Department.

“Working with children with cancer, there are certain challenges, my going across will give me that opportunity to work first hand with specialists, in Fiji we do not have any specialists that deal with cancers and likewise blood disorders, so with that experience I’ll be able to bring back a lot of knowledge to help see these children through”.

26 year-old Melino Bain-Vete is an Environmental Consultant and will be based in the office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), Majuro, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Bain-Vete hopes to broaden his expertise in natural resources and to review the PNA’s partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council.

The awards established in 2008 honour the legacy and memory of Urwin, a former PIFS Secretary-General, with financial assistance from the Australian funded Pacific Leadership Program.

More than 20 emerging leaders from around the region have completed placements under this awards.....PACNEWS

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