Australia Awards Vanuatu (AAV) alumnus, Vasemaca Justine Pikioune, is a leading figure in Vanuatu’s growing finance sector. She joins a growing number of women who are being recognised for their leadership qualities, particularly in an industry that has previously been considered a male-centred profession.
Justine graduated with a Master of Finance from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2020. She successfully applied for the position of Finance Manager with TitanFX whilst completing the last of her studies during COVID-19 lockdown and was appointed to the role upon returning to Vanuatu. “It was due to being an Australia Awards Scholar Awardee with a Master degree from an internationally recognised university that I was successful in securing this leadership role so quickly”.
Prior to beginning her Master of Finance Justine achieved a Bachelor of Commerce in 2010 whilst studying in New Caledonia. This allowed her to work for commercial banks as financial and compliance analysts, but it was her desire to work in senior-management that propelled her to complete a Master degree through the Australia Awards Scheme. “After completing my Masters, it felt as though doors started to open rather than me always having to knock”.
Justine also serves as an alumni network committee member. The committee is comprised of six AAV alumni and these members are the first to work alongside one another in a collaborative space with a collective vision to further develop opportunities and strengthen people-to-people connections. “It is about ensuring there are capacity building opportunities for the alumni network to further develop personally and professionally”.
Justine’s academic and professional accomplishments highlight a movement towards equality within the workplace, recognising the skillset of the individual opposed to it being a decision informed by one’s gender.