Women leading and influencing

Lina and Bettina

Back to Current Cohort

Lina Sanawe

Papua New Guinea
Master of Business Administration (alumni)
Western Sydney University, NSW

 recently received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a management specialisation at Western Sydney University. She also is a Certified Practicing Accountant of Papua New Guinea, a registered accounting graduate and a member of her employer's Toastmasters' club.

Lina has worked at Oil Search Ltd since 2007, starting as a graduate trainee. By 2015, she had progressed through various roles to her recent position as Materials Accountant Team Lead. While in Australia, Lina has undertaken an internship at the Lowy Institute, working on the Australia-PNG network's social media engagement and conducting research into key themes for the network's digital engagement, all to support Australia and Papua New Guinea's bilateral relationship.

Lina is passionate about contributing to positive changes in the areas of women's decision-making leadership and women's empowerment, to increase women's ability to affect change.

Lina would also like to support rural PNG women with socio-economic activities. Using her business background and accounting knowledge, Lina aims to support Papua New Guinean women already engaged in informal economic activities to leverage on existing resources and form networks to create sustainable businesses. She wants to create opportunities to involve women with low literacy levels and numeracy skills in the rural informal Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sectors. Through a social enterprise approach, Lina intends to create a buddy learning program to teach women and girls in rural areas basic financial skills and the importance of creating sustainable businesses to help one's family and community.


Bettina Baldeschi

International Women's Development Agency (IWDA), VIC

 is the Chief Executive Officer at the International Women' Development Agency (IWDA). Prior to this role, Bettina was IWDA's Director of Communications and Fundraising and led the transformation of the organisation's brand identity, media profile and communications strategy. Under her leadership, IWDA was awarded two Fundraising Institute of Australia awards.

Bettina also served as the Director of IWDA's Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) program - a partnership between the Australian National University (ANU), IWDA, and the Australian Government. Through this program, the team tested a world-first gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. Bettina has also presented at global events, driven the organisation's communications strategy, and paved the way for the IDM's global use by 2020.

Before joining IWDA, Bettina held executive roles with Oxfam Great Britain and worked with UNHCR in Canberra. Bettina has a Master's degree in Women's Studies - Gender and Development from Oxford University