Father-daughter team carve historical path

A new path was carved when a father-daughter team was sworn into the Bougainville House of Representatives on Tuesday 29th September.

Thirty-seven-year-old Amanda Getsi now joins her father, Raymond Masono, in the fourth House of Representatives.

Getsi will, for the first time, represent the women of North Bougainville while her father will serve another term as the Atolls MP.

She is the first Carteret islander to become a lawyer, the first from the islands to gain a master degree in law and the first female to become an MP.

After the inauguration on Tuesday, Getsi and her father became the first father-daughter team in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

In an earlier interview with this newsroom, the young politician shared that she is still getting used to her new role and environment.

“I’m still trying to accept the fact that me being in Parliament would mean sitting alongside my father and actually discussing things – not on family issues like we do at home – but bigger things for Bougainville,” Getsi shared. “I’m happy that he actually got re-elected; that means the people of Atolls still have the confidence in him to continue to lead them for the next five years.”

Getsi said while they may be from the same family, each individual brings a unique set of skills and experience to the table.

“He has his own experience, skills and knowledge to offer and I also come in with my experience and the qualification that I have as a young professional woman who has a law background.”

She further voiced confidence in the fourth House of Representatives, where over half of the 40 MPs were new elects, and three of them are under the age of 35.

“With the young, energetic leaders coming in and the ones who have retained their seats, I believe it’s a strong dynamic thing that coming together, we can actually create the change that we want.”

Getsi, who has a master’s in law from the University of Melbourne, worked as a director in one of the Autonomous Bougainville Government departments in 2017, where their role was to prepare the people and government for referendum. With her political and legal experience, as well as her network with the ex-combatants and the constituents, she was seconded to the Bougainville Referendum Commission as the external relations manager.

After the successful conduct of the 2019 historical Bougainville referendum, Getsi decided to challenge herself by contesting for the North Women’s Regional seat, where she was declared the winning candidate on the afternoon of September 22nd.

(North Women’s Regional MP, Amanda Masono Getsi)

Carmella Gware