Wantaim PNG is an Australian registered charity with OADGS status. All donations of $2 and above are issued a tax receipt. Tax receipts may be used by Australian donors to obtain a tax deduction (depends on personal circumstances).
This is a personal journey, a story of reconciling cultures - PNG and Australia - a story that is inextricably tied to Wantaim PNG.
Established in 2007 and now in our 15th year of operation, Wantaim PNG’s roots extend to events 40 years earlier and the birth in Manus PNG of one of our founders, Lynne Shori.
Lynne has responsibility for Wantaim PNG’s programmes and stakeholder relations. The combination of her unusual start in life – which saw her exchanged for a sewing machine and stove – and her return to the village 40 years later after a corporate career in banking and finance, provides an unusual perspective.
From this unique vantage point, Lynne shapes Wantaim PNG’s innovative programmes.
Leaving PNG at age 10, Lynne’s family moved to Singapore before returning to Australia where she completed a degree in Economics and a Masters in Applied Finance. For the next 20 years she pursued a corporate career taking on senior roles in strategy, marketing and stakeholder management in large ASX listed companies.
In 2007 a chance meeting led her to connect for the first time with her PNG mother and 7 siblings. This would ultimately lead Lynne to take a great leap in 2010, leaving the corporate sector to focus full time on what would become Wantaim PNG.
Over the next decade each year Lynne would spend months in remote rural PNG communities with the aim of better understanding a culture and way of life that could have been hers. The result is an unusual perspective balancing deep grass roots understanding alongside the commercial imperative to deliver impact for value.
Her insights and understanding inform Wantaim PNG’s programme design and cement our conviction that in a Melanesian setting, genuine community led development is most successful when NGOs are permanently tethered to the communities they work with.
As Lynne’s Mother, Niakop, impressed at the conclusion of her first trip to the village: “It’s alright that you leave now, but now you’ve come home, you must keep coming back”.
Yes. In Melanesia, personal connections and relationships are everything.