Dr. Sofia Bartlett obtained a BSc (Hons) in Science in 2010 from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. She then joined the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Bartlett received a PhD in Medicine from UNSW in 2017, then later relocated to Canada to join the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a Canadian Institute of Health Research Health System Impact Postdoctoral Fellow in 2018.
Currently, Dr. Bartlett is the Senior Scientist for Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (STIBBI) with Clinical Prevention Services at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, Canada.
She is the Co-Founder of Grass Skirt Project and a Non-Executive Director. She helped to launch the first GymBox prototype and helps to train and mentor Grass Skirt Protect team members & volunteers on program data collection and analysis methodology to ensure that all programs are rigorously monitored and evaluated.
Dr. Bartlett is also an Adjunct Professor at UBC and the Co-Director of the Canadian Collaboration for Prison Health and Education.
Tahina Booth is a former tri-international elite athlete representing Papua New Guinea in Rugby League. She also represented Australia in Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting.
Tahina saw the power of sport to unite all people together, regardless of gender, race, privilege, sexual orientation, or political following. Playing and competing was a platform to be yourself and exercise agency—and she could see how international competition taught her how to manage high-pressure situations and grassroots sports enabled her to have fun.
After experiencing first-hand the devastating effects of gender-based violence (GBV) while living in Papua New Guinea, Tahina redirected her focus toward engaging grassroots communities through sport with the Grass Skirt Project (GSP). The GSP set out on an entrepreneurial journey of enabling direct access to health and wellbeing programs through Hevea Cup & Wellness Expo and Gymbox—a creation that is reducing inequalities by creating employment for men and women and decolonising development by enabling local communities to co-design sports solution-based programs that are delivered by the communities that Gymbox is in.
Tahina is a board member for the Department of Foreign Affairs Australia’s Pacific Women Lead Governance Board and a volunteer advisor member on the International Rugby League for women and girls board.
Bronwyn Wright is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sir Brian Bell Foundation. A passionate Papua New Guinean and advocate, Bronwyn contributes to enterprise, the development of young people and provides opportunities to Papua New Guineans in the areas of health and education.
Bronwyn currently serves on the Board of the Brian Bell Group and Buk Bilong Pikinini and also serves as the Honorary Consul General for Denmark for Papua New Guinea.
The Sir Brian Bell Foundation is one of Papua New Guinea’s formidable not-for-profit organisations working with over 65 organisations in 19 of Papua New Guinea’s 22 provinces.
Bronwyn has worked closely with the Grass Skirt Project for a number of years to advance their programs and enhance their profile.
Bronwyn’s expertise commercially, coupled with her on the ground project management and experience across Papua New Guinea will assist the Grass Skirt Project deliver impact in a sustainable, meaningful, and respectful manner.
I am a Papua New Guinean lawyer and an Australian Awards Alumni. I completed a Master of Public and International Law Degree at The University of Melbourne in 2020. Prior to my studies, I was a litigation lawyer with Ashurst PNG from 2016 to 2019.
I am currently a full time senior associate lawyer with a PNG law firm based in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province, Dowa & Piam Lawyers. I am also a Pro Bono Consultant on a contract part time role with Ashurst.
One of my objectives as a Pro Bono Consultant with Ashurst is to be an advocate in rural communities in Papua New Guinea working to eradicate Gender Based Violence (GBV), Sorcery Accusations Related Violence (SARV) & Eliminate of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAW). Another objective is to create a culture of Pro Bono practice amongst all Papua New Guinean Law firms, both international and local, in partnership with the PNG Law Society.
In my role as a senior associate lawyer with Dowa & Piam Lawyers, I appear and represent clients who are financially marginalised and cannot afford legal fees in personal injuries claims, torts claims against the State for breach of human rights as well as providing advice on pro bono basis.
I have resurrected a Community Based Organisation in my village. Roni Pingrui Community Development Association Inc (RPCDA) was incorporated in 2008 by my tribe but has been dormant since 2012. I was appointed the Public Officer in April 2021. We are currently working on getting our community members access to Adult Literacy Programs.
Deborah Knight is the Director of Xseed Lead, a leadership and organisation development company that focuses on supporting governments across the Pacific region.
Deborah has over 20 years work experience with the Australian national government, as a consultant, and within the aid development sector. She has been a lead technical adviser in programs focused on building leadership and management skills within the public sector while also improving systems and processes. Deborah has also experience in program management – from defining the initial scope of works, design, oversight of implementation and successful closure.
While in government Deborah led many engagements with large industry and other nations. In aid she has held senior positions within programs. She is committed to working collaboratively, and actively listening to stakeholders about their issues and needs. She takes a relationship-based approach to situations and seeks to find solutions that all can support.
Deborah has four degrees and two vocational qualifications and is registered with the Australian Institute of Program Management and the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership as a program manager and executive coach respectively.
Deborah brings her extensive experience in dealing with government and donors to Grass Skirt Project, assisting the team to engage for maximum impact.
Keesha (she/her) is a Specialist Advisor at PVW Partners, People and Performance advisory services, leveraging people analytics, behavioural change science, and emotionally intelligent leadership to align workplaces with business objectives. Specializing in optimising workforce performance and well-being, Keesha provides expert guidance on difficult conversations, emotionally intelligent leadership, and behavioral science to drive performance, productivity, and engagement. With a regional focus, she solves unique business challenges in Regional Australia, unlocking untapped potential.
Keesha is also a renowned advocate, educator, and speaker for Violence Prevention education, featured in media and leading initiatives. Notably, she has hosted two QA sessions with FEROS Care on Disability and Intimacy by activating a highly stigmatised topic in the disability sector as well as hosting the QA session with Grace Tame at the Project SpeakUp! Luncheon in 2022. In 2021 she delivered Townsville’s first Youth Pride event and collaborated with the Qld Human Rights Commission to host the Inaugural Townsville Youth Human Rights Forum.
Passionate about transformative conversations and positive change, she collaborates with individuals and teams to foster open dialogue and build stronger workplace cultures, driving impactful business outcomes. Through her expertise in communication and culture development, she empowers organizations to navigate challenges, fostering relationships, innovation, and sustainable success.
Donna Spethman is an experienced sports executive with 25+ years experience at a regional, national and international level. Donna currently works for UniSport Australia as their Company Secretary and General Manager of Governance & Member Services. In addition, Donna is the Secretary General for FISU Oceania (the Oceania University Sports Federation) where she manages the Federation’s day to day business operations.
Donna’s committee roles include being the Independent Chair of the Squash Australia Nominations Committee and a member of the International University Sport (FISU) Education Committee.
Having started her career in sports events, Donna’s roles have evolved to specialise in governance and risk within the sport and not for profit sectors. She has assisted organisations to develop and deliver strategic plans, develop policies and compliance frameworks, manage member service strategies and she has delivered conferences, AGM and General Assembly events.
Donna is a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Institute of Risk Management (UK) and Southern Cross University and is an international speaker and moderator.