Women leading and influencing

Vidiro and Deborah

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Vidiro Gei

Papua New Guinea
PhD - Plant Science
University of Queensland, QLD

 is entering the final year of her PhD in Plant Science at the University of Queensland. Prior to this, she was a Lecturer in undergraduate Biology at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). She has also worked as Team Leader of an ACP (Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific)-EU project, implemented by UPNG and Papua New Guinea's Forest Research Institute.

On completion of her studies, Vidiro will return to her role at UPNG, where she looks forward to continuing her research into the use of Pacific indigenous flora in land rehabilitation. Vidiro is interested to work closely with mining companies and other relevant stakeholders to research sustainable, environmental friendly mining rehabilitation methods, and to improve the social livelihoods of local communities.

Once back in Papua New Guinea, Vidiro is also interested to nurture the country's growing pool of research talent and to create more leadership and employment pathways for women researchers and scientists. She hopes to establish a consultancy group or network of Papua New Guinean researchers, and to build strategic research partnerships with key regional and international scientific research organisations.


Deborah Rhodes

Leadership and Development Consultant, VIC

 is an independent consultant and trainer in development cooperation. She specialises in approaches, which contribute to capacity in different cultural contexts. She has worked for 30 years on a variety of aid and development activities in Asian and Pacific countries. She has trained thousands of aid personnel in Government and non-government organisations on topics such as planning and designing aid programs, working across cultures, strengths-based approaches and evaluation.

Deborah has led and sustained a successful consulting business, working with a network of specialists, as well as helped establish and lead an NGO called Australia Pacific Islands Disability Support (APIDS). She has authored two books including Capacity Across Cultures: Global Lessons from Pacific Experiences (2014) which is now a textbook in Australian and New Zealand Universities. She has also written guidance notes and journal articles on development issues such as disability inclusion, the influence of cultural values on change and evaluation and aid effectiveness. Deborah currently mentors a number of professional women in Pacific countries and Australia, is a board member for NGOs and is asked for advice and facilitation in a range of contexts.