Catherine Pukena

Cohort 2
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Catherine Pukena
Papua New Guinea

Master of Development

Murdoch University, WA

Before taking up her study opportunity, Catherine was closely involved in the development of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. While based in Perth, she successfully completed a Masters of Development degree at Murdoch University.

Catherine has worked at the Office of Urbanisation, PNG Power Ltd., the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Ministry of Natural Resources, and the ABG Department of Community Development. She has held the role of Women and Gender Coordinator within this last department since 2014, where she supported the Secretary (Head of Department) to negotiate for funding to support women’s access to justice and implement other government priorities in relation to women’s issues. In 2015, Catherine took a lead role in the Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF)general elections.

Catherine would like to be an influencer at the community level, to get women and girls together to advocate for change and benefit from development. She would particularly like to ensure a stronger voice for rural women in Bougainville and make women aware of the broader networks that exist, particularly ones that support gender equity and other crosscutting issues.

Upon her return to Bougainville, Catherine plans to create an avenue where information and development opportunities can be transmitted to rural women and build networks that respect tradition whilst helping to grow a more modernised and peaceful Bougainville.