Veronika Damena 2018-01-09T03:39:52+00:00

Veronika Damena

Degree: Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change

Graduated: April 2014.

Current Position: Assistant Program Manager, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade based at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Current Employment/Academic Status?

I manage a complex USD $4 million annual development program in the remote Kokoda region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Main responsibilities include: managing high value contracts, engaging with a diverse range of state and private sector stakeholders, and contributing to policy that supports the Australian Government’s interests in PNG. Duties include, but are not limited to: strategic design and implementation of the Kokoda program, representational duties, oversight and coordination of work plans and finances, liaison support for official visits and building relationships with key stakeholders.

How have your knowledge and skills gained from your studies assisted you and the organisation that you are working in with duties related to climate change?

Knowledge and skills gained at PaCE-SD have enhanced my ability to analyse and influence policy and improve my communication skills. My duties are not directly related to climate change, but there are elements of biodiversity and conservation advocacy in managing the Kokoda Program.

Can you tell us about any success stories in your career after you have graduated that you believe were made possible with your study experience at PaCE-SD?

Two months after I joined Transparency International PNG in 2014 as a Contract Write, I was promoted to Program Manager of the REDD+ Governance and Finance Integrity Program. The promotion would not have been possible if I had not studied at PaCE-SD.

What have you done differently/better now in your job after graduation?

I am more confident in communicating and advocating for policy related to environmental conservation and climate change.

What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?

I aspire to reform components of the public sector in PNG. Hence, my application to undertake a master’s in public administration through the Fulbright Scholarship.

What are you most proud of in your life? (Can be a personal achievement or work related)

I’m proud that I am raising my two younger siblings on my own after the passing of our single mother in 2013 to cancer.

What inspires you to pursue the type of work that you are in?

My people. The people of Papua New Guinea.

Who is your role model and why?

Michelle Obama. She is intelligent, classy, well-grounded and a wonderful wife and mother.