The Ministry of Health (MOH) in partnership with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Australia, along with other partners, launched the “Women in Leadership” Program on March 29, 2023, at Warwick Le Lagon. The program aims to enable women in the health sector to improve health services inclusively for all of Vanuatu and the region. There are 17 women undertaking the Code 1 of this first-ever locally owned program launched.

“This leadership training is not only to train but also a structured journey to guide women through self-discovery and self-awareness, equip themselves with tools for leadership, and also break through barriers,” Acting Director General (DG) of the MOH, Judith Melsul, stated in her speech.

The program is structured into two streams, one for emerging women leaders and the other for women in executive leadership (director level). The participants will undertake some of the courses at the University of the South Pacific.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Vanuatu, Minister of Health, Rick Tchamako Mahe, thanked the Government of Australia for its steadfast and unwavering support to the government and the people of Vanuatu.

“In recognition of the huge contribution of Australia to the health sector through the Vanuatu Health Program (VHP) which is the key channel to Australia’s investment in health, it is appropriate to have it renamed Vanuatu Australia Health Partnership (VAHP) instead of VHP, and it is indeed a most fitting to also have that name launched.”

Minister Mahe added, “The Women in Leadership Program is a testament to the partnership and collaborative approach needed to address health priorities.” He also emphasized the importance of women in leadership roles, saying, “Vanuatu needs both men and women in leadership for our hospitals, our families, our communities, our nations to prosper.”



Ms Heidi Bootle, Australia’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu also commented on the launch, stating, “The Vanuatu-Australia Health Partnership has a strong provincial focus to support the MOH and the provincial governments’ decentralized inclusive health services.”

The program has been made possible by the partnership of various organizations, including the PSC, Vanuatu Institute of Public Management, University of the South Pacific, Balance of Power, Vanuatu Skills Partnership, Care International, Further Arts, Department of Women’s Affairs, and Vanuatu Health Program.

The Women in Leadership Program aims to unlock the full potential of women leaders to lead effectively with competence, confidence, and compassion, in line with the country’s National Sustainable Development Plan.