Women leading and influencing

Dorothy and Tess

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Dorothy Kenneth

Papua New Guinea
Master of Public Policy and Management (alumni)
Murdoch University, WA

 has a Masters of Public Policy and Management at Murdoch University. Her thesis focused on how Australian aid links to the socio-economic policy objectives of the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Dorothy is an educationist who has specialised in secondary school teaching and education administration and planning. She has strong skills in education leadership and management, planning, policy development, analysis and evaluation.

Dorothy has held leadership and management roles in the Autonomous Bougainville Government's Department of Education, as an Education Planner, a/g Deputy Secretary and Principal Education Officer.

Dorothy now is the Director of Policy and Planning. While in this role, she has provided oversight during the planning and development of Bougainville's Education Plans 2007-2016 and 2015-2019. She also has been closely involved in the development, implementation and analysis of the department's education policies.

Even through Bougainville is a matrilineal society, Dorothy has struggled to be respected as a woman leader. She intends to use her leadership skills to support good governance and gender equity within PNG's public sector, including ensuring the effective use of aid dollars.


Dr Tess Newton Cain

Policy and Development Consultant, QLD

 has over 20 years of experience of living and working in the Pacific island region, including living in Vanuatu for 19 years. During this time, Tess taught, mentored, counselled and worked in the Pacific to support people who are striving to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. She has strong skills in research, analysis, strategy and strategic communications, policy development and governance support.

Tess recently was the Strategic Adviser to the Office of the President of Vanuatu. She also was commissioned by the Pacific Islands Trade Commissioner to prepare a paper for submission to the Forum Finance and Economic Ministers' Meeting, and worked with Pacific Advisory and Icarus in the development of two reports for submission to the Minister for Infrastructure & Public Utilities (Vanuatu).

Tess is a former lecturer in law for the University of the South Pacific and has worked as a policy and development consultant since 2001. Her clients have included the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Asian Development Bank. During 2017, she worked as a strategic adviser to the Office of the President in Vanuatu.

Tess currently is an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, an adjunct Principal Research Fellow at James Cook University, and a Visiting Fellow to the Australian National University.