Papua New Guinea
Master of Disability Policy and Practice, Flinders University
Maria is a public servant and education professional with 15 years of experience working with the Teaching Service Commission of Papua New Guinea (PNG), with five years spent as the Inclusive Education Program Coordinator. This work affirmed Maria’s passion for and focus on contributing to the development of fair, inclusive government policies that will see all people with disability in PNG access their education with equal participation in social and economic inclusion.
As a Deaf Educator and inclusive education advocate, Maria worked to integrate the first Deaf student, who later became the first Deaf teacher, in mainstream PNG education. She also pioneered and contributed to the development of PNG Sign Language, which includes training teachers and caregivers. Maria has earned a Bachelor of Special Education, Diploma in Primary Teaching and Certificate in Disability Studies, among other qualifications.