Degree: Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change
Graduated: April 2014.
Email Address: vdamena(at)vunconsultancy.com
Current Position: I am the Director of VUN Consultancy Ltd, which is a company that provides professional services in the field of environment, conservation and climate change.
Current Employment/Academic Status?
I am engaged as a consultant to the PNG government’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority’s (CEPA).
I work closely with CEPA’s Policy, Coordination and Evaluation wing to:
- Deliver high quality national reports for the PNG government to submit to the UNCCD Secretariat
- Facilitate stakeholder workshops related to UNCCD objectives with PNG key government agencies (Lands, Forestry, Agriculture, Climate Change).
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.