Everyday People PNG : Emma Oliver

Hello! I am Emma Oliver, 30 years of age, I originate from East New Britain Province, and I’ve just recently moved back home, from Port Moresby.

I actively run a marine conservation project called “A Tena Valbalaurai Na Ta” which translates to “Guardians of the Sea” in my local Kuanua Language.

The project is fairly new and mainly focuses on my community and nearby communities.

It is a non-profit conservation project which I envisioned a few years back whilst I was living and working in Port Moresby and being engaged in other similar conservations projects.

I have been passionate about the sea and marine life for as long as I can recall and that’s what drove me to start up “A Tena Valbalaurai Na Ta - Guardians of the Sea”.

I hope to one day expand this initiative to other parts of East New Britain.

The main goal of the work we are doing is save the population of marine turtles here in East New Britain, especially the critically endangered Hawksbills

It’s evident that some communities utilize turtle meat, eggs and even shells, and if we are not careful we may lose this amazing species of turtle and our children will not have the chance to see them.

Therefore, we aim to create awareness within the East New Britain Coastal Communities of the need for a concerted and coordinated approach to arrest and reserve declining population trends.

We aim to work with the local communities and engage local youths to take action now and protect our turtles, and ensure their population recovers, so that we can meet cultural and nutritional benefits in the future.

Outside of work, I am a mum of three kids, but I feel more like a referee in junior soccer league game to be honest.

It has to be the most amazingly challenging responsibility ever but the rewarding part of my day is the embraces we get to do before I leave for work and when I return home, especially our little prayer times to start our day off and also when we end the day.

I would like to attribute my success to my day one supporters my mum and dad, my support family, my inspirational - late older brother and my partner who have been supporting me juggle motherhood and my career.

Marysila Kellerton