The winners of the 2018 International Women’s Day awards are journalist and editor, Jane Joshua, from Malekula and teacher, Jenny Nierre from Tanna.

Jane Joshua was awarded the 2018 Hanson Mataskelekele — Women in Leadership Award for her outstanding role as an active senior journalist in Vanuatu.

Jane has extensively covered important development issues in Vanuatu, including stories that made the international news. Recently, Jane was promoted to Chief Editor at the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Jenny Nierre was awarded the 2018 Andy Lynch – Excellence in Community Sector Award for her passion, determination and commitment to teaching despite having no formal training. Jenny is a self-determined person and is committed to providing the children of Lamnatou community in Tanna an education. Her commitment to implement Vanuatu’s new education curriculum won her recognition as one of the country’s high performing teachers.

Each year, to celebrate International Women’s Day in Vanuatu, the Australian Government presents the Andy Lynch Award and the Hanson Mataskelekele Award to two ni-Vanuatu women to recognise their contributions to the community in the fields of leadership and excellence in the community sector.

These national Awards are funded by the Australian Government and are a joint initiative of the Lynch and Mataskelekele families and the Australian High Commission.

“The Australian Government and the Lynch and Mataskelekele families congratulate Jenny and Jane for winning this year’s awards.”

“The Government of Australia recognises that gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to economic and human development. Providing equal opportunities for women and men supports economic growth and helps to reduce poverty. These awards recognise women who are taking action in Vanuatu” said the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin.

The Australian Government works in Partnership with the Vanuatu Government to empower and provide new opportunities for women in Vanuatu.

Through the Policing and Justice Support Program, Australia provides assistance to the Department of Women’s Affairs to support political leadership training, and to the Vanuatu Police Force and Ministry of Justice and Community Services to support women in leadership, family protection and access to justice for women.

The Australian Government also supports the empowerment of women through a range of other bilateral and regional programs, including Markets for Change and Skills for Partnership Program.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressforProgress. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. The call to #PressforProgress is motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.