Steering Committee

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The Fund Steering Committee provides overall strategic guidance and support to the Fund including the allocation of funds. It is comprised of representatives from DFAT, the Fiji Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation’s Department of Women, the Pacific Women Support Unit, women’s civil society organisations and the Fijian private sector.

Leonie Whyte

Leonie Whyte

Deputy Team Leader Pacific Women Support Unit

Leonie Whyte has been with the Pacific Women Support Unit since August 2018. Leonie oversees the Gender, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Research and Finance and Operations units of Pacific Women’s work. Leonie has over 15 years of experience in the delivery and management of international development programs in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. Prior to this role Leonie was the International Development Manager for Cardno in Papua New Guinea and Cardno’s representative managing the PNG Law and Justice Program. Before joining Cardno, Leonie worked for AusAID/DFAT for 10 years in various roles, including postings to PNG. Leonie has a background in community development, gender, governance and development effectiveness. She has a Bachelor of Community Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in International and Community Development.

Christina Munzer

Christina Munzer

Chair of the Steering Committee (2017) Counsellor, Development Cooperation for Fiji and Tuvalu, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian High Commission Fiji

Christina Munzer has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 2012, and is currently the Counsellor for Development Cooperation, Fiji and Tuvalu at the Australian High Commission in Suva. While in Canberra she was Director of DFAT’s global Australian- NGO Cooperation Program. Christina came to DFAT from the NGO sector, working with CARE Australia as Coordinator of Asia and Pacific programs and before that with the International Rescue Committee in several humanitarian and post-conflict postings in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Christina served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa and has also worked in the US health sector. Christina has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Tupou Vere

Tupou Vere

Women’s Human Rights Defender

Tupou Vere has worked for 25 years on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Fiji national and Pacific regional women’s NGOs, governmental offices and a faith based women’s organisation. She has for a decade also worked in a Pacific NGO advocacy organisation on issues of decolonisation, demilitarisation, sustainable development, environment and human rights. Tupou joined Oxfam in Fiji in March 2018 and later in October 2018 on a full time basis as Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Specialist. She has worked in the Fiji YWCA, Pacific Regional YWCA, Fiji’s Department for Women, Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, UN Women Fiji Multi- Country Office and House of Sarah – Anglican Diocese of Polynesia. Tupou has an undergraduate degreein sociology and administration and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies from the University of the South Pacific.

Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh

Executive Director, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (Chair of the Steering Committee, 2018)

Nalini Singh is a feminist and a social development specialist with over 17 years’ experience in design, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of women’s rights and development programmes in the Asia Pacific. Her particular interests are the issues of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), decent work and organisational capacity strengthening. Prior to joining FWRM over two years ago, Nalini worked as the Programme Manager- Advocacy and Capacity Building for the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Before this she was a Programme Officer at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Nalini is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts.

Selai Korovusere

Selai Korovusere

Director Women Ministry of Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation

Selai is a career Civil Servant having served in a number of agencies within the Fijian Government. Her areas of expertise are in research and policy; planning, human resource training and development and productivity and excellence. She is a qualified business excellence evaluator and a trainer by profession. Throughout her career she has worked extensively with programmes that promote Disaster Risk Management; Women’s Development and Gender Equality. She returns to the Department of Women as the Director Women after more than 10 years’ service in the Public Service Commission.

Mere Roden

Mere Roden

Office Manager, Spinal Injuries Association Fiji

Mere Roden is the President of the Spinal Injuries Association and Employer Liaison Officer of the Include Disability Employ This Ability (IDEA) program. Mere is an avid table tennis player, winning a gold medal at the Pacific Games in 2015. She represented Fiji at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Mere has worked as Factory Manager for Asia Pacific Textiles, supervising production of South Pacific Games items manufactured for Fiji by Asia Pacific Management. She is a well- known disability rights advocate, specifically advocating the rights of persons with disabilities to meaningful employment.

Leaine Robinson

Leaine Robinson

Senior Program Manager, Gender Equality & Inclusive Growth, Australian High Commission Fiji

Leaine Robinson has over 10 years’ experience working on development in Fiji and the Pacific, in particular on program management, civil society engagement, gender and disability. Leaine has been with the Australian High Commission since 2011 and is currently the Senior Program Manager for Gender Equality & Inclusive Growth where she manages bilateral aid programs focused on promoting gender equality and social inclusion in Fiji. Before joining the Australian High Commission, she worked for a regional civil society organisation, Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International, managing projects across multiple Pacific Island countries. Leaine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Industrial Relations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies from the University of the South Pacific. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Development Studies with the University of the South Pacific.

Mareta Salacakau Fong

Mareta Salacakau Fong

Finance Manager, ANZ Bank Fiji

Mareta is the Chair of the ANZ Fiji Banking on Women (BoW) Executive Committee which is an in-house program that focuses on ANZ women’s career progression and well-being by organising activities that are targeted at increasing visibility, boostingconfidence and challenging the status quo. She is currently the Finance Manager for ANZ Fiji and previously held a similar position in Samoa overseeing Finance for Samoa, Tonga and Cook Islands. Mareta also worked with children at the Samoa Victims Support Shelter during her time there. She is a member of the Leadership FIJI alumni, Fiji’s Women in Business and a Committee member for the ANZ Fiji Staff Foundation. Mareta has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Tourism from the University of the South Pacific and is a member of CPA Australia.

Dr. Litea Meo-Sewabu

Dr. Litea Meo-Sewabu

Lecturer and the Social Work Discipline Lead, University of the South Pacific

Dr Litea Meo-Sewabu is an academic and has worked in academia for over 15 years. She joined the University of the South Pacific in 2017 as a Lecturer and the Social Work Discipline Lead. Prior to that, she worked at Massey University in Aotearoa as the coordinator for the Pacific Research and Policy Centre and also taught in Development Studies (Gender & Development) and the Social Work programme in the University. She has also taught at the Fiji School of Medicine’s School of Public Health (now FNU) in community medicine, community development and health promotion. Prior to that, Litea worked at the Fiji Ministry of Health’s Health Planning Unit, which was responsible for developing health policies and health-related programmes. After this position, she worked at the National Centre for Health Promotion on community development projects and training at a national level. Litea holds a Master’s in Public Health (International Health) from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, United States of America and a PhD from Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand.