Sixteen women leaders in Vanuatu’s health sector celebrated their graduation from the ‘Women in Leadership’ Program yesterday.

Mr. James Melteres, Secretary of the Public Service Commission (PSC), expressed the government’s contentment in witnessing the accomplishment of women in this leadership initiative.

He emphasised the significance of the program, which is a collaborative effort between the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Mr. Melteres conveyed gratitude to the Minister of Health for recognising the potential within the women leaders and for spearheading the ‘Women in Leadership’ program in the health sector.

He noted the program’s launch on March 29 of the current year, shortly after Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin, underscoring the nation’s determination and resilience to progress under any circumstances.

The PSC’s core mission revolves around delivering exceptional human resource management and development services to the public service workforce.

This is facilitated through the Vanuatu Institute of Public Administration and Management (VIPAM). Collaboration between the PSC and the MOH, along with other stakeholders, was pivotal in designing the program. The efficacy of the program was reinforced through the participants’ shared experiences.

Mr. Melteres stressed the advantages of adopting a sector-based approach to enhance collaboration among various units within the sector. While all graduates possessed technical and functional skills, their four-month training included a focus on leadership and management, enhancing their overall proficiency.

“All of the graduates have their technical expertise, they have genetic skills, technical and functional skills, but the leadership and management skills that they had undertaken were added to their skills during the four months of training,” Melteres remarked.

The 16 participants have successfully graduated with certificates in professional development in public service workforce leadership from the University of the South Pacific (USP).

This recognition empowers VIPAM to take the lead in coordinating and facilitating further training and workshops across different agencies.

The goal is to seek accreditation from the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA) as a training provider, with the intention of extending the program’s scope to other sectors within the public service.

“We have trust that the hope and leadership of each graduate will transform and improve the Vanuatu health sector, ultimately enhancing the standard of healthcare and service delivery to the people of Vanuatu,” Mr. Melteres affirmed.

The PSC extended appreciation to the governments of Vanuatu and Australia, the Vanuatu Australia Health Partnership, and other partners for their support to VIPAM on this new journey.