Women leading and influencing

Atenasi and Jean

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Atenasi Ata

Solomon Islands
Master of Law and Development (alumni)
University of Melbourne, VIC

 recently completed a Masters of Law and Development at the University of Melbourne. She also has a Bachelor's degree in Marine Studies from the University of the South Pacific.

Over the past decade, Atenasi has worked closely with United Nations Women, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Government of Solomon Islands. Her work has taken her to Kiribati to work on education initiatives and to Vanuatu to manage grants that support ending violence against women. She was a member of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) from 2007 to 2010.

In 2010, Atenasi took part in the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue, where she spent two weeks in Vanuatu with 12 other participants to address developmental challenges in the region. This experience taught her how to work productively with people from widely diverse cultural backgrounds and professional experiences in a sustained and engaged manner. Through this and other personal initiatives, Atenasi has learnt the importance of leading from behind and mobilising people in such a way that they can lead their own community change.

Upon her return to Solomon Islands, Atenasi plans to establish an initiative that encourages people to be legally literate and aware, particularly about environmental legal issues, so that they do not feel overwhelmed by the law but make it work for them. In the long term, Atenasi would like to move into an elected position.


Jean Martin

Gender Adviser, Oil Search Foundation, QLD

 is the Gender Adviser at Oil Search Foundation, after holding the positions of Head of Expansion Programs and Head of Women's Protection and Empowerment.

Jean is an active member of the Business Coalition for Women (BCFW) Addressing Violence Working Group and the NCD Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee in Papua New Guinea. She is passionate about investing in programs that genuinely respond to the needs of women and girls in Papua New Guinea - in particular innovative, community-driven programs.

Jean holds a Master's degree in International Public Health from the University of Queensland. She previously worked in the field of public health - specifically the HIV, Sexually Transmissible Infections and Blood Born Virus sector - for 10 years.