By DEMAS TIEN
THE first Papua New Guinean woman judge, Justice Catherine Anne Davani, has died.
Davani, 56 and from Dorom village in Rigo, Central, passed away last Friday in Brisbane when undergoing treatment for cancer.
The National and Supreme Courts now have only three Papua New Guinean female judges.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill expressed his and the country’s deepest sympathies to her family for their loss.
“Let me express my deepest condolence to the family of the late Justice Catherine Davani for their sudden loss and, of course, we share the loss with her family and our people in the judiciary,” O’Neill said.
“On behalf of the nation, I thank the late Justice Davani for her esteemed service to ensuring the rule of law in PNG.
“She was a fine example of a Papua New Guinean woman who was able to achieve great distinction in the judiciary services in the country.
“Girls all around the nation can look to the example she set and aspire to break through barriers and be everything they want to be in their careers.
“May her husband John and her family take solace in the sympathies of the nation and our gratitude for the example she set, particularly for the empowerment of women.”
Davani has been a National and Supreme Court judge since March 2001, along with Justice Ellenas Batari, Justice Panuel Mogish and Justice Salatiel Lenalia.
Prior to becoming a judge, she was a lawyer with a number of private law firms in the country.
She graduated from the University of PNG with a law degree in 1982 and completed post-graduate legal training at the Legal Training Institute in 1984.
Davani also obtained a Masters in law at the University of Sydney in 1988.
When admitted to the National and Supreme Court in 1984, she was a lawyer and dealt with family law, criminal law, commercial law and judicial reviews.
Davani was involved in the administration of sports in the country, particularly with the PNG Sports Federation.
She also represented the country as a player in several Oceania World Cup soccer qualifiers, including being captain of the PNG team.
Davani was once a legal adviser to the PNG Olympic Committee.
By DEMAS TIEN