Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) alumni, Atenasi Wasuka, Cora Makini, and Kristalee Horoto have been sharing their leadership and reintegration experiences to support fellow Australia Awards alumni returning home to the Solomon Islands in 2021.
During the 'Making an Impact' Afternoon Tea and Reintegration workshop, held by Australia Awards Solomon Islands on 23 September 2021, the WLI alumni delivered a session on understanding developmental leadership, how positive change is driven, and how to build human leadership skills.
As part of this session, Atenasi and Cora shared their reflections on making a positive impact since returning home, drawing from lessons learned while delivering a leadership initiative for COVID-19 response and recovery in the Solomon Islands.
The event also offered newly returned alumni a chance to network and engage with established alumni, development stakeholders, potential employers and each other, to strengthen their capacity to make an impact in one or more of Solomon Islands’ development priority areas.
Clinical nurse consultant and WLI alumna, Kristalee, also took part as a guest speaker. She was joined by her supervisor, Hellen Orihao, Assistant Director of Nursing at the National Referral Hospital, and Samantha Vallance, First Secretary of Education for the Australian High Commission Solomon Islands.
Kristalee believes that sharing the story of how she returned to the Solomon Islands to improve service delivery in her workplace, while also coping with the sudden losses of her father and husband, inspired determination and resilience among event attendees.
“Despite the many challenges … I was able to rise up ... It's about making an impact for the society that matters," she says.
According to Kristalee, “one of the key things that stood out during the session was to avail yourself … don't expect to wait for your dream job".
“You've got to put yourself on the market to gain the needed experience,” says Kristalee.
“Getting to learn from alumni success stories has built more confidence in me to expand my sphere of influence,” explained one recently returned Australia Awards alumnus who attended the workshop.