Women leading and influencing

Samantha and Jan

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Samantha Kusari

Papua New Guinea
Master of Education and Cognitive Psychology
Flinders University, SA

Samantha is passionate about improving education and literacy levels in Papua New Guinea’s rural communities. Prior to commencing her Australia Award, Samantha worked as a high school teacher and before that, she was a language research intern working in rural communities.

Upon completion of her studies, Samantha hopes to establish a reading and writing club for both children and adults, in which English and local languages are embraced. She also believes that expanding her leadership skills will help her contribute to the development of education in Papua New Guinea more broadly.

Dr Jan Edwards

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Specialist, SA

Jan is experienced in designing programs and implementing gender and inclusion strategies and evaluations in diverse cultural contexts across Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean. She has worked with various development partners, including Australian Aid, ILO, USAID, World Bank, and PLAN International, and was recently the Deputy Director, Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Civil Society Engagement of KIAT, Indonesia.

Projects Jan has supported, including the Provincial Road Improvement Maintenance Program (PRIM) and the Indonesia Water and Sanitation Hibah Evaluation in Vietnam, have been recognised as achieving improved gender equality results, and identified by the Secretary of DFAT to be of high quality. She is also experienced in data and policy analysis, capacity needs assessment, literature reviews; policy development, and the application of monitoring and evaluation tools.