Women leading and influencing

Mary K and Libby

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Mary Konobo

Papua New Guinea
Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development
The University of Newcastle, NSW

Mary is committed to exercising developmental leadership in order to improve Papua New Guinea’s disaster risk reduction and management performance. She served as a Humanitarian Coordination Assistant to the United Nations Development Program, under the Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Project. In this role, she supported El Nino early action planning, development of Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework 2017-30, and response and recovery efforts during the 2018 Highlands earthquake.

Prior to this, Mary held various volunteer positions, while at the same time completing her Bachelor of Science; majoring in Environmental Science and Geography. Mary hopes to encourage young people to take an active interest in disaster risk reduction.

Elizabeth (Libby) Bowell

Public Health Consultant, NSW

Libby is an experienced public health consultant with expertise in large-scale international disaster, emergency, and epidemic response in developing country contexts. In various capacities, she has held roles in all levels of multi-disciplinary and multi-national teams, including for the Red Cross.

Libby has been responsible for the development and review of emergency and public health curricula and guidelines for multidisciplinary health and volunteer teams. She has also facilitated training for culturally diverse teams responding to emergency in Geneva, Malaysia, Malawi, Finland, and other locations.

Libby is passionate about working with Indigenous peoples and has also spent 15 years working as a Remote Area Nurse in Australia.