Women leading and influencing

Eselealofa and Jo

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Eselealofa (Ese) Apinelu

PhD (Humanities) - Indigenous rights-based approaches
Swinburne University of Technology

Eselealofa (Ese) is the Attorney-General of Tuvalu and its first female lawyer. She has specialised in government and commercial law and worked as Crown Counsel to previous attorney-generals.

Ese has a wide range of community engagement experiences, including as president of the Tuvalu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee.

She is the first Tuvaluan to research indigenous Tuvaluans' understandings of rights-based approaches in societal culture. She intends to use her research to guide policies that address the disconnect between individual and collective rights approaches in Tuvalu's development agendas. She also plans to promote culturally relevant learning and education in Tuvalu.

Joanna Hayter, AO

International Affairs, Policy and Leadership Adviser, VIC

Joanna has worked in the international development, human rights and social justice sectors for 30 years, with experience ranging across four continents and 31 countries. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 2018 for distinguished service to women, particularly in gender equality and individual rights, and for the promotion of global health, peace and security.

From 2010 to 2017, Joanna was the CEO of International Women's Development Agency (IWDA). She currently sits on the Ministerial Advisory Council for Women's Equality in the Victorian government.

In 2013, Joanna was recognised as one of Australia's 100 Women of Influence, and in 2016, she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.