Westpac Outstanding Women Award

The Westpac Outstanding Women Award (shortened to WOW Award) recognizes exceptional professional work of women in Papua New Guinea.[1] Since its inception in 2006,[2] when it was called the Westpac Women in Business Award,[3] the Award has recognized the achievements of individual women in multiple categories. Each category awardee then becomes a finalist for the overall WOW Award.[4] In the face of acknowledged gender inequity in the country,[5][6][1][7] the WOW Awards call attention to the crucial and highly skilled work done by women across a number of sectors.[8] The winner of the WOW Award receives a grant to pursue a formal education, professional mentoring, opportunities for professional learning and networking at an Australian Executive Women's Leadership symposium, and a cash prize.[9] The WOW Awards support the belief that investment in women leads to stronger economic outcomes for a nation as a whole, and strives to provide role models for the girls and women of the country.[1][4]

Prize categoriesEdit

The number of categories in which women are recognized has expanded over the years:

Original categoriesEdit

  • Public Sector Award
  • Entrepreneurship Award
  • Private Sector Award
  • Community Responsibility Award
  • Young Achiever
  • Westpac Women in Business Award[10] (changed in 2013 to Westpac Outstanding Women Award[3])

Categories added in 2015Edit

  • Sports Award
  • Not for Profit Award[11]


Westpac Papua New Guinea, a subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corporation of Australia, is the primary sponsor and organizer of the award.[1]

Other companies have joined in sponsoring one or more awards over the years.[12][13][14][15][16][11][17] Typically, these companies contribute cash to sponsor a prize for the finalist in each category, which supports those finalists in continuing their work.[13][14][15]

Selection of recipientsEdit

The WOW Awards extend a call for nominations each year, and filed an average of 70-80 nominations annually.[1] In 2016, there were over 100 nominations.[18] From among these nominations, a judging panel composed of representatives from Westpac, high-level sponsors, and the community picks a first round of finalists.[19][9][17] Judges interview each finalist to assess their: capacity to lead, influence, and inspire others in pursuit of challenging goals; record of operating with integrity and good governance; achievement in appropriate areas, such as school, sports, or professional activities; and personal and professional values.[17] Ultimately, the panel selects one finalist per category, and from among these nominees select the overall Westpac Outstanding Woman Awardee.

Award recipientsEdit

Year Award Recipient
2007-2008 Young Achievers Samantha Maria Andreas[20][21]
2009 Overall Westpac Women in Business Award Betty Higgins[17]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Sector Award Mary Handen[22][17]
Daltron Entrepreneur Award winner Betty Higgins[17]
Cardno Acil Public Sector Award Dr. Rona Nebita Nadile[17]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Tessie Soi[17]
IBBM Young Achievers’ Award Monica Pomat[17]
2011 Overall Westpac Women in Business Award Sarah Haoda Todd[10]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Sarah Haoda Todd[10]
PricewaterHouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Award Monica Toisenegila[10]
Mineral Resource Development Co (MRDC) Public Sector Award Naomi Faik-Simet[10]
Young Achiever's Award Sylvia Pascoe[10]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Rosemary Vartuam Sovek[10]
2012 Overall Westpac Women in Business Award Susil Nelson[23][24]
Steamship Public Sector Award Eleina Butuna[24]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Helam Koaik[24]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Naime Tom[24]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Mary Pohei[24]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Florence Lou Willie[24]
2013 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Maria Linibi[25]
Steamship Public Sector Award Dr Mobumo Kiromat[25]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Sarah Shelley[25]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Dorish Cheryl Mondo Mulas[25]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Maria Linibi[25]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Anthonia Apurel[25]
2014 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Lesieli Taviri[26]
Steamship Public Sector Award Esther Roibete Apuahe[26]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Christina Josephine Cragnolini[26]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Mazzella Maniwavie[26]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Penny Sage-embo[26]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Lesieli Taviri[26]
2015 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Janet Sape[27]
Steamship Public Sector Award Janet Sios[27]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Joyce Kiage[27]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Michelle Boyama[27]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Beverly Pambali-Piawu[27]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Janet Sape[27]
Pacific Assurance Group Public Sector Award Dr. Evelyn Lavu[27]
Moore Printing Sport Award Veitu Diro[27]
2016 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Bosa Togs[18]
Steamship Public Sector Award Dorothy Lamin Koch-Waluta[18]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Rita Jaima Paru[18]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Jacqueline Joseph[18]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Annastascia Wanasawo[18]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Bosa Togs[18]
Pacific Assurance Group Public Sector Award Dr Lutty Amos[18]
Moore Printing Sport Award Julienne Leka-Maliaki[18]
2017-2018 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Ruth Jewels Kissam[28]
Precinct Public Sector Award Mollina Mercy Kapal[28]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Dorothy Luana[28]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Crystal Kewe[28]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Ruth Kissam[28]
Steamships Not For Profit Award Priscilla Kevin[28]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Karo Lelai[28]
Moore Printing Sport Award Cybele Druma[28]
2019 Overall Westpac Outstanding Women Award Raylance Mesa[29]
Exxon Mobile PNGLNG Public Sector Award Betty Jacobs[29]
SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award Vani Nades[29]
IBBM Young Achiever's Award Raylance Mesa[29]
Trukai Community Responsibility Award Freda Yakio[29]
PricewaterhouseCoopers Private and Corporate Sector Awards Hillary Turnamur[29]
Moore Printing Sport Award Margaret Aka[29]
Steamships Not For Profit Award Petra Arfeae[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards into 12th Year – EMTV Online". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  2. ^ Spark, Ceridwen (2020). The New Port Moresby: Gender, Space, and Belonging in Urban Papua New Guinea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0824881801.
  3. ^ a b "WOW: It's on again this year". The National. 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  4. ^ a b "Westpac launches WOW awards for 2019". Post Courier. 2018-12-13. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  5. ^ World Economic Forum (2019). "Global Gender Gap Report 2020" (PDF). World Economic Forum.
  6. ^ "| Human Development Reports". www.hdr.undp.org. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  7. ^ Davidson, Helen (2013-07-19). "Papua New Guinea: a country suffering spiralling violence". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  8. ^ "Westpac Outstanding Women Awards Announced". KTF. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  9. ^ a b "Bank unveils 14 women finalists for awards". The National. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Westpac names winners of WIB awards". The National. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  11. ^ a b "Westpac announces 2015 women's awards". The National. 2015-07-27. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  12. ^ "11th Westpac Outstanding Women's Award – EMTV Online". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  13. ^ a b "WOW awards receive support". The National. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  14. ^ a b "SP gives K25,000 for women awards". Post Courier. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  15. ^ a b Bauai, Gloria (2016-08-25). "SP Brewery backs Westpac's Entrepreneur Award". Loop PNG. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  16. ^ "Raylance scoops overall WOW award 2019". Post Courier. 2019-03-10. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kewei, Cynthia (2009-10-23). "Women shine at the 2009 Westpac Women in Business Awards" (PDF). Westpac.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "WOW Awards winners for 2016". Loop PNG. 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  19. ^ "Westpac Outstanding Women Awards". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  20. ^ Ok Tedi Mining (2008). "Annual Review 2008" (PDF). Ok Tedi Mining.
  21. ^ UK in the South Pacific (2019-08-15). "Congratulations Ms. Samantha Maria Andreas, on your #Chevening scholarship". Facebook.
  22. ^ "Mother inspires daughters". The National. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  23. ^ "Express Niugini: Westpac honours PNG women". Express Niugini. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  24. ^ a b c d e f "Nelson wins Westpac WiB award". The National. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Women's agro rep wins WOW award". The National. 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "People moves: Virgin Australia, Departments of Treasury and Justice, Outstanding Women Awards". Business Advantage PNG. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h "2015 Westpac Outstanding Wowen Awards – EMTV Online". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h "Women in ICT take out Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards!". PNG ICT Meri. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h "12th Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards – EMTV Online". Retrieved 2021-01-18.