Women leading and influencing



Alumni Reps Host First WLI Networking Event in Suva & Plan Year Ahead

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Inaugural Women Leading and Influencing (WLI) Alumni Representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa gathered in Fiji to host their first in-country networking event for Pacific Australia Awards alumni and to plan activities to support and engage the WLI alumni network for the year ahead.  

On Saturday 18th February, the representatives welcomed 65 Australia Awards alumni and development stakeholders at the Green House Coworking and Event Space in Suva for a program-first night of connecting and networking.  

WLI alumna VasitiSoko, Director of Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) was the event keynote speaker and shared insights into balancing her role as a mother, while also being a mother to the children of Fiji who rely on the NDMO for safety and support during times of disaster. 

[Pictured: Attendees of the WLI Networking Event in Suva, Fiji]

During the same weekend, alumni representatives came together to plan the year ahead, using 'empathy mapping' to identify the main needs of WLI alumni returning home and how these can be addressed through practical activities - including skills-based training and networking events. 

The newly recruited Alumni Representatives are part of WLI’s increasing focus on supporting program alumni when they return home, and will be the “face” of WLI in their respective countries. 

Alumni Representatives receive a budget to plan and execute their work plans, which have been developed in consultation with WLI participants and alumni. 

The current Alumni Representatives will remain in their role until June 2024.  

The WLI team will commenrce recruiting for a new Cohort of Alumni Representatives in March 2024, at which time it is expected that the initiative will expand to other Pacific Island countries. 

Alumni Representatives can be contacted on the WLI Leaders Hub (accessible by current and former WLI participants) or via the following email addresses. 



Contact Email 


  • Jiupili Ralulu Simmons 
  • Nazia Raza  
  • Fozia Muktar 



Papua New Guinea 

  • Theresa Witi 
  • Sophie Hepota 
  • Paliame Palisah 



  • Della Siomia Savaiinaea 
  • Tagiilima Neemia