As the world gears up to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, the Vanuatu Daily Post continues its series highlighting the inspiring stories of Ni-Vanuatu women from various backgrounds.

In this edition, we shine a spotlight on the dynamic persona behind the screens and microphones of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) – Ms Florence Leah Lowonbu.

Ms Lowonbu, originally from Efate Island with roots extending to Ifira and Ambrym Islands through her parents, is a 30-year-old mother to a 10-year-old daughter.

Her journey into journalism began in 2015 when she came across an advertisement for a journalism course at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) while reading the Daily Post. Instantly recognising her passion, she embarked on a Diploma in Media and Communications at VIT, receiving invaluable support from mentors Tony and Elaine Wilson. This paved her path into the Vanuatu media industry, where she found support and guidance from numerous mentors.

Joining VBTC as an intern in 2017, Ms Lowonbu became part of the VBTC reform program in 2018, remaining with the organisation to date, amassing over 6 years of experience in Vanuatu media. Her love for journalism stems from its essence of serving the people, providing them with a platform to address real issues affecting their lives.

Navigating the challenges of being a woman in the industry, Ms Lowonbu remains resilient, focusing on the significance of her service to the community. She expresses gratitude to the management of VBTC for their unwavering support and protection, especially during the handling of sensitive stories, as well as to those outside her workplace who have stood by her.

Currently on a study leave, Ms Lowonbu is pursuing a Bachelor of Communications and Journalism at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, as one of the 2024 Australia Awards students. Her goal is to return and continue her work at VBTC upon completing her studies.

Amidst her studies in Australia, Ms Lowonbu is making strides by contributing part-time to the ABC Wantok Program. In her role, she writes Bislama news articles, amplifying Ni-Vanuatu voices through the media company.

Reflecting on her journey, Ms Lowonbu shares her mantra of embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, advocating for dedication, service, and continuous learning in every endeavour. Her story exemplifies resilience, determination, and a commitment to serving her community through the power of media.