My happiest times were as a student at Asitavi Girls High School. Even though life as a student was tough in the remote area of Wakunai, given we travelled to school at the end of January and returned home in early December at year end, life at school taught us to be responsible for our own needs and welfare.
We took on leadership roles and as an all girl’s school, the school was our training field to exercise our leadership skills.
Yes, I was a star student who excelled in school and I took out the Dux Prize of my grade 10 class at the end of the school year. I chose to go to PNG University of Technology in Lae even though I also had an offer from the University Of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). I qualified in Business Studies majoring in Accounting. I took up employment in Port Moresby with the PNG Investment Corporation. I worked for one and a half years, trained and mentored by the Financial Controller who was a retired lecturer from Perth, Australia.
I relocated to Bougainville one and a half years later after getting married. After five months I secured work with Private Enterprise, a company linked to the Port Moresby based firm I had worked with. I was given responsibilities over the management and administration of the office including the accounting functions of Angeo Pty Ltd in Kieta, Bougainville. These responsibilities sharpened my management skills. Two years later I started a family but still worked.
In 1987, I was invited to apply for the position of Chief Accountant for the North Solomons Capital Authority (NOSCA/Arawa Town Council). This is where my management skills started in the civil service with support from male colleagues when the Bougainville Conflict enveloped Bougainville in 1990. I was one of the last officers to close the office and relocate to Buka.
Life in the village was tough- no government service available due to the embargo by the PNG Government. In 1992, the Bougainville administration was re-established in Buka and as former staff of NOSCA we were requested to establish the Buka Town Management Committee. The former Town Manager, J. Longa accepted and requested me to come on as Chief Accounting Officer. In 1998, I was promoted to Deputy Town Manager. The Town Manager mentored me in preparation to take on his position. In April 1999, I assumed the position when asked by Council. I have been there ever since.