Women leading and influencing

Lorraine and Jo

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Lorraine Jonathan-Ponifasio

Papua New Guinea
Master of Communications (alumni)
University of Canberra, ACT

 is studying for a Master's degree of Communications at the University of Canberra. She has taken up her Award off the back of her recent role as Public Diplomacy Manager with the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea, a position she held for three years. Prior to this, Lorraine was a Research and Communications specialist at the PNG National Research Institute, where she managed a team of researchers across various programs.

Lorraine is keen to apply the skills and experience she gains on the Women's Leadership Initiative to build her confidence as a leader, and to facilitate stronger organisational partnerships in her field of expertise.

Lorraine sees communications as a powerful tool for advocacy and behaviour change, particularly in areas such as gender and disability. In addition to stepping into more senior management roles, Lorraine hopes to use her expertise to help all Papua New Guineans play a more informed, active and decisive role in their country's development.


Jo Elsom

Australian Broadcasting Commission, SA

 is a senior communications professional with more than 25 years' experience. She has worked within the media, with non-government organisations, the private sector, state government and Australian Government.

Jo's leadership roles have spanned managing external, internal and crisis communications, including the delivery of media training courses. She has been an agency media spokesperson and represented the Australian Government (Jo spent 10 years as Public Affairs / Communications Director for AusAID) at national and international events and meetings.

Jo has specialist expertise in the area of communication for development (C4D) and media development. She currently works for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in the International Development section, as Manager Business Development & Strategic Partnerships. In this capacity, she delivers new business opportunities and expands organisational relationships and networks. She also uses program design and management skills to develop and deliver new media development activities. Jo's development, government, communication and media experience and skills provides a unique combination of strengths.