Following in father’s footsteps

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

Like father, like daughter – the phrase rings true for Second-Lieutenant Lilly maud Gerari from Northern.
Gerari is following in her father and Northern police commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari’s footsteps in the disciplinary forces.
She said it was “an honour” to follow her dad.
Of mixed parentage, Northern and Gulf, Gerari had enrolled at the University of Papua New Guinea in 2008. In her second year of studying political science she withdrew to work.
She had completed Grade 12 at Marianville Secondary School.
She worked for a few companies before joining PNG Ports in 2012 as a data-entry storage clerk.
While there, she was inspired by overseas women naval officers on ships that docked at the Port Moresby wharf.
Last year, she applied for naval cadetship and was accepted in the Defence Academy at Igam Barracks in Lae.
Due to illness, she delayed her training until this year. She graduated as Second-Lieutenant from the Defence Academy last month and is now attached to the Force Support Battalion at Murray Barracks.
“My father Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari, currently the Provincial Police Commander of Northern, was a graduate from the last batch of the Joint Services College in Igam Barracks in Lae in 1980,” Gerari said.
“I now see myself following in his footsteps as the last batch for the Defence Academy training programme from Igam Barracks.
“This year, the PNG Defence Force has reintroduced the Joint Services College and the training is currently underway at Igam Barracks.”
Gerari is the youngest in the family of three. Her elder brother Wesley Gerari was also in the army and he also inspired her to join the force.
Finally working in her dream job, Gerari is content.
“Being in the military is interesting but challenging and I’m happy that I have achieved my goal. I don’t regret leaving UPNG,” she said.
“My encouragement to young women is – nothing is impossible, if you believe in God and in yourself and remain committed and faithful, you will achieve your goal,” she said.
PPC Gerari said her daughter always wanted to do a man’s job.
“When she asked me to join PNGDF, at first I said, it’s tough for a young woman like you but she insisted to take up the challenge, which she did, and now she’s graduated as second-lieutenant in PNGDF.
“We are so proud of her and wish her well,” her father said.