Hard work pays off for Joyce

Finding fulfilment in what you do is not an easy thing to achieve. Community Investment Coordinator, Joyce Melepia dreamt and prayed for that job that would give her joy and satisfaction at the end of the day.

Joyce has been with TotalEnergies EP PNG Limited (TotalEnergies), operator of the Papua LNG project for five years now, overseeing the coordination and implementation of community development and investment programs. 

Born in Lae, Morobe Province, Joyce spent the majority of her childhood in Madang. Her formative years of education were spent in her native town, Rabaul East New Britain Province.

Completing grade 12 at Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School in Goroka, Eastern Highlands in 1997, she was accepted into a business course at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) in Port Moresby.

Her first job was as an administrative assistant with and Australian Aid Program – Community Development Scheme in 2000. 

During her time with the Community Development Scheme in 2002, she was part of the team that contributed to the write-up of the National Accreditation Standards for Community Development Workers (CDWs), which was launched in 2007. 

Housed under the National Accreditation Trade Testing Bureau (NATTB), as a certified NATTB assessor, she assessed trainee CDWs under eight modules, to become fully certified and recognised as a CDW.

She later returning to PAU to do her Business Studies Degree in 2003 and graduated with her degree in 2004. Her second job was as the Development Coordinator for the Southern Region with the Democratic Governance Transition Phase project. 

In 2013, she applied and was accepted for an Australian Awards Scholarship to study in Australia and was accepted to pursue a Master of Arts (International Development) at Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, graduating in 2015. 

Upon her return from Australia in 2015, she was based in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands, working with the Baptist Union of PNG as the Health Care Manual Project Manager for two and a half years.

The project was to manage and coordinate 60 plus health experts to write the 3rd edition of the Health Care Manual for community health workers (CHWs) throughout Papua New Guinea.

The manual has been printed and distributed to CHWs in 2018 – 2019 to 12 CHW training schools owned by churches in PNG.

“In August 2018, my contract with Baptist Union of PNG was about to end. I prayed and asked God to give me a job in Port Moresby. A week later, I received a call from PeopleConnexion, asking me if I was interested in a job with Total PNG Limited (what it was referred to at the time),” she explained.

“I googled the organisation and learnt more about what they do. I have worked 14 plus years in the development sector and two and a half years with Non-Government Organisation, but have no experience in the extractive industry,” she said. 

Her current job includes coordination, management (of a small team) and support for the CD team on site, implementing community investment programs in the project areas; partnership brokering at the National, Provincial and District level, to name a few. 

During her early years with TotalEnergies, she lists the delivery of six Memorandums of Understanding with TotalEnergies development partners, as well as the inauguration of infrastructure projects within the Project area communities, as part of her career highlights.

“It gives me satisfaction to see school children have a smile on their face when they receive a new classroom. It gives me the joy and satisfaction knowing that I have contributed,” she proudly claims. 

While she does add that working within a project community can have its fair share of challenges, at the end of the day it is the satisfaction of facilitating partnerships with the Gulf Provincial Government to ensure basic services reach the communities.

“There is a profound sense of satisfaction in the job I do as a community development practitioner,” she shares.

She know that when she eventually retires, development work would play a big role in how she interacts within her community as well as other communities.

“I find the work I do satisfying and rewarding. When a project is completed and the beneficiaries are happy, I walk away happy that I have contributed in a small way towards improving the community’s livelihood,” she heartily says. 

Loop Author