Women leading and influencing

Catherine and Sandra

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Catherine Pukena

Papua New Guinea
Master of Development (alumni)
Murdoch University, WA

Before taking up her Australian Award, Catherine was closely involved in the development of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Now she has a Master of Development from Murdoch University and has returned to Bougainville to continue her valuable work.

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 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.


Sandra Kraushaar

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ACT

 is a governance adviser with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). In this role, she specialises in the politics of development, political economy analysis, developmental leadership and adaptive development.

Sandra leads DFAT's Political Economy Analysis advice and training and is frequently called on to present on women's leadership and coalition building. Her team manages the research partnership with Developmental Leadership Program. In 2013, she was closely involved in establishing the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program.

Sandra has taken a strategic leadership role in Australia's international aid program, enhancing the leadership potential of women and men leaders in the Asia Pacific region through effective stakeholder engagement and building networks of contacts in aligned organisations

While Sandra now is Canberra-based, she has lived in Turkey and Fiji and worked in many Pacific Island and Asian countries.