Don’t let your gender dictate your dream, women told


AN Australian Awards maritime scholarship winner Michelle Marnapal is encouraging women in PNG to pursue a career marine engineering.
It’s challenging and rewarding, she added.
Marnapal is among 26 PNG women who were awarded maritime scholarships through Australian Awards since 2018 through an innovative partnership with the private sector.
“If you’re interested in marine engineering and have the opportunity to study it, take it,” she said.
“Don’t let your gender dictate your dream.”
Scholarships for women at the PNG Maritime College and Sea-time and other practical training are supported by private-sector partners such as Pacific Towing, Steamships, Consort Shipping and China Navigation.
The partnership supports workforce development and gender equality in the maritime sector.
Awardees obtain professional qualifications and practical experience needed for a career in the field.
Marnapal and three fellow awardees are undertaking four months of international sea time aboard China Navigation’s MV Shansi as part of their officer of the engine room qualification.
The awardees’ time at sea, under strict Covid-19 protocols, was a chance to gain valuable hands-on experience in complex areas such as engine maintenance and repair.
“I am already learning a lot and looking forward to learning even more,” Marnapal said.
“The professionalism and work ethics shared among the officers and crew are very inspiring and encouraging, especially for cadets like me.” She said safety was a priority as the cadets learnt safety drills and first aid skills.
“There are also many opportunities for cross-cultural exchange as the crews are from different nations and it makes way for interesting conversations over meals and during breaks,” Marnapal said.
She wanted PNG women take the chance to join marine engineering as applications for maritime scholarships for 2022 is open until June 14.
“I encourage and urge them to apply,” she said.
“As much as a maritime career is challenging, it’s also rewarding.”