Nominations for PICISOC Board Election 2014

Current nominations

Brian Louey-Gung – Fiji

Edwin Liava’a – Fiji

Ellen Strickland – InternetNZ

Freddie Forrest Apakali – Papua New Guinea

Ikapote Tavalea – Tonga

Priscilla Kevin – Papua New Guinea

Winifred Kula Amini – Papua New Guinea

Brian Louey-Gung

(nominated by Ian Thomson, seconded by Patrick Queet).

Brian Louey-Gung - Fiji
Brian Louey-Gung – Fiji

Improved connectivity via submarine cable and O3b is enabling more and more Pacific Islanders to participate fully in the global online economy, not just as consumers, but as suppliers and entrepreneurs. I would like to see PICISOC develop more focussed support for existing and aspiring online entrepreneurs amongst the members – to help them better understand the commercialisation process, such as: demonstrate proof of concept; develop a practical business plan; and increase their chances of attracting start-up investors.

My qualifications and experience in commercialisation include a Master’s of Science and Technology Commercialisation from the University of Adelaide, followed by six years assisting technology inventors to obtain patents and commercialise their work. This qualification builds on a BSc (Hons) degree majoring in Pure Mathematics from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Computing from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

I believe that PICISOC needs to continue its contributions to the internet governance debates. My contribution to these efforts will be based on 30+ years working with and for telecommunications companies (Telstra, Link, Iridium South Pacific) and regulators (Australian Communications and Media Authority – ACMA), with several years at senior executive levels. Having worked extensively on the topic of Convergence for the ACMA I am very aware that many legacy regulatory approaches are simply not appropriate for the internet.

I have a pragmatic approach to regulation and governance, and a keen appreciation of the barriers hindering the provision and maintenance of affordable ICT services to Pacific Islanders, most recently demonstrated in my work over the last 18 months as the Technical Advisor at the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Centre (PiRRC).

My personal principles are:

  • Adapt what is worthwhile
  • Discard what is no longer relevant
  • Avoid the pitfalls (and there are so many of them!)

PICISOC needs to continue encouraging the development of innovative approaches for improving services in the Pacific. My knowledge and experience in telecommunications (technical, regulatory and management) will be a valuable complement to the internet expertise already present within PICISOC in pursuing this goal.

Edwin Liava’a – Fiji

(nominated by Maureen Hilyard, seconded by Anju Mangal)

Edwin Liava'a
Edwin Liava’a

Edwin has a personal philosophy  – “I innovate and provide solutions NOT problems”.  He has spent over 15 years working in the Pacific region, specialising in ICTs  and GIS, and offering his skills and talents  to support the building of solutions  across the Pacific. He has been a member of the PICISOC Board in the past, during which time he worked with ISOC on the Sphere Project – encouraging chapter engagement. Edwin worked with former Board members, Franck Martin and the late Les Allinson on IT projects in Tonga and Samoa at a time when PICISOC Board members themselves were involved in IT development in the Pacific at the implementation level.

Edwin is currently working as an ICT and GIS specialist in Fiji, but he has also worked in Papua New Guinea,  the Solomon Islands, as well as  Tonga and Samoa. While he worked for SOPAC he also did some work for the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu. He comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience about the needs of IT users  across the Pacific. He has also been an IT tutor-trainer at USP. His practical skills and experience cover office systems, web design and programming, and among a host of other things, network administration using Windows but also a strong advocate for Linux and FOSS.  He is a founding member of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).   Because of his experience in the Pacific region, Ewin Liava’a would be a major asset to the PICISOC Board.


Ellen Strickland – InternetNZ

(nominated by Maureen Hilyard, seconded by Don Hollander)

Ellen Strickland - InternetNZ
Ellen Strickland – InternetNZ

I believe PICISOC is an important regional organisation, with a wide range of members who support the development of the Internet for the Pacific Island region, and I would be honoured to continue to support PICISOC as a Board member, if reelected.

I am currently Collaboration and Community Lead at InternetNZ, which manages the New Zealand ccTLD and is a charity which works with and for the Internet Community to promote the Internet and its benefits and protect its potential, including through hosting the NZ Internet Governance Forum initiative called NetHui.

I am also a Founder of Oceania Women’s Network Satellite, a company recently set up to support the development of the Internet in Oceania, which is focused on investing in new technologies, research and development and supporting innovation to enable all communities in our region to benefit from the Internet.

I have recently submitted my PhD thesis on Pacific Island regional ICT policy which was completed through the Centre for Communication and Social Change at the University of Queensland. I have been involved in Pacific Island internet research, training and community projects since 2003, when working for the NZ UNESCO National Commission and completing a Masters in Communications at Victoria University on Pacific Island Telecentres.

I have been serving on the PICISOC Board since 2010, as Secretary for the Board and recently Vice-chair Policy, and if reelected to the Board, I would like to continue to support members on policy and governance around Internet issues. So much is happening locally, nationally, regionally and internationally as the Internet grows and develops, having a network to share and engage with each other as a region is a vital role played by PICISOC, which I would be proud to support as a part of the Board.


Freddie Forrest Apakali – PNG

(nominated by Carole Cholai, seconded by Raula Gaikovina Kula )

Freddie Apakali - PNG
Freddie Apakali – PNG

Freddie is a veteran software developer with over 14 years of programming, systems analysis, software engineering and project lead experience. He is currently Senior LAMP Software Engineer with the Lucky Group Inc based in Santa Monica, California, USA. At the Lucky Group, his focus mostly on new feature development and enhancements by taking on new projects from concepts to technically functional systems. Having been in California for over the last 10 years Freddie has been involved in some exciting projects as a software developer. To mention a few, his direct involvement in the completion of a new and fully integrated medical billing system called Meddigo (Meddigo.com) for Care Concepts, the rollout of Ray-Ban’s new sunglasses e-commerce website, the completion of Callaway Golf’s current web marketing portal and the rollout of Auction.com’s satellite site specifically tailored for the German market. He was also involved as a lead engineer in enhancing an existing (open source) telephony web application for online teleconferencing and call forwarding (management) called SimpleDial.

In 2009 Freddie started Forrest Data Systems, a startup Software/IT company based in California. He has since been involved in developing web based applications and technology solutions (as a consultant) for other smaller companies and startups both in the USA and in PNG. Some PNG based entities he’s been involved with include Matrix PNG P/L (an SMS Mobile and ICT company), Enga Provincial Government and RPNGC.

Freddie is a prolonged advocate of web-based solutions, enterprise applications and internal workflows that must take full advantage of the World Wide Web vehicle. One of his core interests areas is to develop tailored subscription-based data services for PNG and eventually the Pacific region. Enforced by the ideas driven through the recent ICT Cluster Initiative in PNG.

Freddie is a graduate from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor in Computer Science (BSCS). After graduation he started work with Ok Tedi Mining Limited, in PNG, as a Junior Analyst Programmer and was promoted to Analyst Programmer the following year. In 2004 he resigned from Ok Tedi to pursue his career in software development/engineering and so found his way to the USA. He has since then honed his skills over the years with on-the-job experience, personal training and certification, and eventually to where he is now as Senior LAMP Software Engineer.

His major interest areas and professional work stem around developing web-oriented industrial applications, internal workflows and the consumption of big data services through the use of the Internet (world wide web)

Occasionally he is available for side projects as a consultant for his own company Forrest Data Systems when he is not too busy with his regular work, or with his wife and two boys.


Ikapote Tavalea – Tonga

(nominated by Etuate Cocker, seconded by Jackson Miake)


Mr. Ikapote Tavalea is currently working as the ICT Consultant and Deputy CEO for the National Retirement Benefits Fund of Tonga. Mr. Tavalea has worked in various organizations for more than 15 years and gained vast knowledge and experiences in ICT field right from troubleshooting of a computer, installing and configuring of network servers, systems analysis, database development and implementation, managing ICT projects, managing the ICT and Operations division, up to providing ICT advices to the Board and executives. Mr. Tavalea has gained both technical and management skills and experiences. He was not confined to ICT area only but he was also working with other business divisions such as finance, investment, and operations in providing them with advices or ICT solutions.

Mr. Tavalea was very instrumental with the successful establishment of the Retirement Fund Board of Tonga in 1999 and the National Retirement Benefits Fund in 2011 especially with the design, installation, and administration of its ICT infrastructure.

Mr. Tavalea always strives to make a difference with ICT in either improving business’s processes, products, or services. With his ICT experiences, he also loves to promote innovation and uphold e-Pacific ways. Mr. Tavalea believes that during the digital age and virtual world, ICT is the core stimulator for economic growth of Pacific countries.

Mr. Tavalea holds a Master degree with First Class Honours in Computer and Information Sciences from the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Computing and Mathematical Sciences majoring in Software Engineering from the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Mr. Tavalea is a certified Senior Member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). He is also a Fellow Member of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. Mr. Tavalea is a member of the National ICT committee and the e-Waste committee of Tonga. He was involved with the development of the National ICT Strategic Plan and the e-government project of Tonga. Mr. Tavalea has also been accepted to do PhD in Information Systems at the University of Auckland, New Zealand commencing in year 2015.


Priscilla Kevin – Papua New Guinea

(nominated by Winifred Amini, seconded by Maureen Hilyard)

Priscilla Kevin - PNG
Priscilla Kevin – PNG

Priscilla Kevin is a natural ICT entrepreneur and is the current director and owner of her own company In4net Ltd – an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and ICT Management Consulting start-up firm in Papua New Guinea. Priscilla has over 14 years ICT industry having worked as a consultant in ERP, an information Systems and Network Administrator for Post PNG Ltd and later as the Manager Information Systems for Daltron Ltd before leaving to start up her own technology firm.

Priscilla currently supports large enterprises in her firm and has a range of technical and business skills in Database systems, Server administration and Networking, customer relationship management, Point Of Sale, Assets Management, Procurement and Inventory Management, Microsoft and Linux systems, Messaging, Virtualisation, Disaster Recovery Planning and Cloud technology. Priscilla has deployed real time systems such as Electronic Funds Transfers for direct creditors banking for her clients, saving paper, printing costs and time and developing automated procurement systems to speed up approval and acquisitions within organisations.

Priscilla is passionate about her profession and the Industry. She is a current pioneer to the PNG ICT Cluster initiative in the Pacific (visit www.pngictcluster.com) which was applauded as a successful pilot cluster at the European Union PIPSO closing workshop in Fiji. Her passionate spirit and that of her colleagues has inspired more collaboration at country level, regional and global.

Priscilla has extensive networking within PNG’s private sector, government and academia through her line of work and her great people skills, ethics and personality. Her work space includes data mining and business analytics, financial management reporting and automation, and integrated enterprise solutions and workflows. She has passion to build technology solutions for the local market, the region and global.

Priscilla’s passion is to lead the pathway for technologists in her country and the region to contribute positively to their communities through effective leadership and legislation and the right use of affordable simple technology and the internet.

Priscilla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Computer Science with Merit from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae. She is ranked as a top computer science student in her year and came in 11th place out of a 100+ student taking engineering streams of studies. Priscilla holds several technology certifications in systems and database and is a member of the PNG Business Council, and an executive of the PNG Computer Society.


Winifred Kula Amini – Papua New Guinea

(nominated by Maureen Hilyard, seconded by Alisi Tuqa)

Winifred Amini - PNG
Winifred Amini – PNG

Winifred Kula Amini is enthusiastic about technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. She has over 15 years of Information Technology experience in business analysis, design and development of business processes and system solutions.  She is also currently the Vice President of the PNG Computer Society and also committee member for the PNG Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cluster.

With the experience from the APEC Start-up Acceleration Leadership Summit in 2012 she believes that there is potential in the software development industry in PNG.  Software development is exciting and is yet to be nurtured.  Through her role in the PNG Computer Society and the PNG ICT Cluster more can be done for small startup companies and ICT Professionals to accelerate Research and Development projects especially in the fields of Internet, Mobile and Software engineering.

As part of the PNG ICT Cluster’s vision to be the Silicon Valley of the Pacific, one of the strategies is to establish an Internet Exchange Point (IXP).  PNG NICTA is currently in consultations to have this implemented, but currently all internet traffic in PNG, even local traffic, goes offshore from PNG and then re-routed back.  This adds to the high expense of internet provision and is also cause of the high congestion of the international gateway bandwidth (Tiare).

Her previous role was as the Project Manager for PNGs whole-of-government approach to e-Government called the Integrated Government Information System (IGIS) Project.  The IGIS Network is the largest e-government network in the country and is a multi-million dollar project which ended in June 2014.

She holds a Masters in Business majoring in entrepreneurship from the University of Queensland, Australia and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (With Merit) from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.