The PICP Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Chairs’ meet virtually on the 21 August 2020 to mark the launch of the new Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Direction 2020-2024, and share progress to date on effective WAN support in their jurisdictions.

WAN Chairs’ present were from Fiji, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.  In attendance was also the PICP WAN Management Team, RSIPF Gender Advisor, Pacific Faculty of Policing, New Zealand Defence Force and the Fiji Defence Force.

The meeting started with the appointment of Chair being handed virtually to Senior Superintendent Bereta Naisua of the Fiji Police Force.  S/Supt Naisua will be Chair for the following two years and supported by Deputy Chair Officer Chelsea Torres (CNMI).

S/Supt Naisua acknowledged the work of previous WAN Leaders, the Secretariat and gave thanks to PICP Chiefs for cultivating the acceptance for the advancement of Pacific women in policing.

“We will support and enhance the contribution of women policing in the Pacific region, with objectives of advising the PICP on issues affecting our women Police Officers.”

WAN Virtual Meeting

The new published PICP Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Direction 2020-2024 was released at meeting. This is a great achievement of the WAN Chairs, having workshopped the plan at the 2019 WAN’s Chairs’ Meeting in American Samoa and continued to review and participate in its development throughout the year. The WAN Strategic Direction 2020-2024 outlines three pillars; to empower a network of women, to strengthen productive partnerships between Chiefs and their WAN, and advance and reform pacific policing for women, with women.

The WAN’s Executive Lead Commissioner Mangau (Solomon Islands) congratulated all the WAN Chairs on their team work on the WAN Direction 2020-2024. The Commissioner encouraged the WAN Chairs’ to keep going on the priority items in spite of the COVID-19 challenges, and to continue to maintain effective communication.

There were excellent presentations in the second half of the meeting. RSIPF WAN Chair Inspector Ileen Ukebule outlined the importance of the RSIPF Gender Strategy and shared successful methods in building stronger engagement between Chiefs and WAN through preparing information, being organised with an agenda, having action items, talking points, good news stories, and by maintaining regular meetings.

“A strategy is only as good as the support it receives, and a document such as a Gender Strategy requires strong support from our senior police officers. “

Officer Harrilee Matsumoto from the Guam Police Department presented on ‘WANs helping WANs’ and shared experiences on last year’s meeting of WAN Chairs’ from Guam, FSM and Palau. The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to share success stories, plan activities and strengthen ties.

There was great comradeship during the meeting and it was agreed that similar meeting should be held more frequently.