Female is top geology

Normal, Weekender

The National, Friday, May 6, 2011

Good enough to take up a career in academia, Victoria Kili chose instead to go out into the world to prove her worth. KAIRU LAHO reports


SHE was emotional and quietly spoken as she accepted her award for best 2010 geology student from Ok Tedi Mining Ltd.
And when interviewed later she was of few words too.
A small lady in build, Victoria Kili of mixed Bougainville and Milne Bay parentage does not give off much, but her academic performance in her final year at the University of Papua New Guinea last year is testimony to her prowess to excel in a male-dominated field.
She is currently employed at the Newcrest Mine on Lihir, New Ireland province, under its graduate development scheme.
She was good enough to take up a career in academia, but to the disappointment of Professor in Geology, Hugh Davies, she chose instead to go out into the world to prove her worth.
She graduated last Friday where she also received the Hugh Davies PNG Geology Award which was sponsored by Geosite Management Ltd together with another female graduate Michaeline Charlie.
According to Prof Davies, Victoria was an outstanding student in a “difficult year” due to the high calibre of the geology crop.
“Victoria was a very active student and hard to pin down. I was hoping she would continue tutoring but she’s decided to go on at Lihir,” he said.
In choosing this field of science, Victoria said she had set out to be a chemist, but after first year she was shortlisted for Geology and accepted to go with it.
The daughter of a journalist, late Peter Kili, she emotionally recalled her father died on the day the shortlist for geology students came out.
“He never knew what career path I had chosen,” she said a day before her graduation.
“It was difficult but I had to be strong to continue my studies,” she said.
Victoria started on Lihir mid last month where her job involves geo-technical engineering.
“I’m enjoying work,” she said of her time so far on Lihir.
Victoria was in a class of 24 – one of nine females and 15 males. Together with her on Lihir are another female and a male graduate.