Everyday People PNG :Fiona Tom

Fiona Tom is from Milne Bay. She completed grade 10 at Watuluma High School on Goodenough Island, where her mother comes from.

After grade 10, Fiona stayed home for a year and in 2009 entered St. Therese Bolubolu Vocational Centre and completed two years of training.

“My first offer was at Gordons Secondary School and I was the receptionist there starting in 2010 till now, 2021. It’s almost 12 years of working as a receptionist. I started with a pay of K195 and many times my family tried to discourage me but I was never moved. I never gave up even though I went through many struggles. I was so faithful and managed to keep my job. I persevered until we had a new principal in George Kenega. He was the second principal since I started at Gordon Secondary. Because of my performance he raised my pay, though I still remain as an Admin receptionist. Now I’m getting a good pay and I’m proud of that. Sometimes I look down on myself, because of the job I hold, a simple receptionist, but my boss tells me ‘You play a very important role and your position is important in the school’. When I stay away for a day, he would call and tell me to return to work, and I see that he values me.

With my new wages, I am able to take care of my family and my extended family as well. I also want to further my education, so I’m thinking of upgrading my marks so I can return to school.

I got married to a man from Central in 2011. Our oldest child is 11, the second is 7, the third is 3 and the last born is only a year old. I consider myself blessed as they inspire and motivate me. No matter the struggles I face, my children bring me joy and happiness.

Frieda Kana