2023 Women’s Developmental Leadership Program participants announced

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
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[Pictured: 2023 WLI Women's Developmental Leadership Program participants]

WLI welcomes 29 emerging Pacific women leaders accepted join the prestigious Women’s Developmental Leadership Program in 2023.

The successful applicants from six Pacific Island countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) are Australia Awards scholars who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential.  

Through the program, each participant will be supported to develop their own leadership style, build key leadership skills and behaviours, and develop regional and country-based networks to help drive positive development change in the Pacific.

2023 Women’s Developmental Leadership Program participants


Asenaca (Ruci) Barauvula; Bachelor of Psychological Science, The University of South Australia

Alomeci Medamaiciba; Master of Midwifery, Charles Darwin University

Melaia Waisale; Master of Governance and Public Policy, The University of Queensland

Melissa Kwan; Master of Public Policy, The Australian National University

Kritika Kumar; Master of Nursing Science, The University of Adelaide

Sereima Dibula Koli; Master of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University

Siteri Kamikamica; Master of Laws, The University of Melbourne

Taina Waqaliva; Master of Food Science, The University of Melbourne

Teresa Lifuka-Drecala; Master of Law and Development, The University of Melbourne

Vasenai Sakalai; Master of Midwifery Studies, The University of Newcastle


Victoria Hnanguie; Master of Environmental Management, The University of Queensland


Constantina Depaune; Bachelor of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology

Papua New Guinea

Beautlyn Eliab; Master of International Community Development, Victoria University

Cecilia Watmelik; Master of Information Systems, Central Queensland University

Cherolyn Pokawin Polomon; PhD, Health Nursing and Midwifery, University of Technology Sydney

Erita Yawi; PhD, Education, Victoria University

Kurande Kupeng; Master of Public Health; Master of Business Administration, James Cook University

Maria John; Master of Disability Policy and Practice, Flinders University

Maryanne Maga; Master of Midwifery, The University of Newcastle

Melinda Matanu; Master of Global Health; Master of Health Leadership and Management, The University of New South Wales

Ruth Javati; Bachelor of Human Services, Queensland University of Technology

Sophie Tuna; Bachelor of Sport Management, Victoria University

Susan Aipit; Master of Public Health, James Cook University

Teisi Kalamo; Master of Applied Anthropology and Development, The Australian National University

Solomon Islands

Koisau Sade; Bachelors of Arts and Social Science, The University of Queensland

Lanique Pitasua; Master of Public Health, The Australian National University


Daisy Rose Sipiti; Bachelor of Business, Victoria University

Debbie Fred; Master of Public Health; Master of Business Administration, James Cook University

Melissa Velvel Fare; Bachelor of International Relations and Political Science; Bachelor of Business Management (International Business), Flinders University.

The WLI team extends sincere thanks to all scholars who applied to participate in the program. We encourage all unsuccessful applicants to re-apply for the 2024 Women’s Developmental Leadership Program (in late 2023) and to keep an eye out for opportunities to participate in the online LeadershipConnect program.