By LARRY ANDREW
A SENIOR police officer’s daughter will go down in the history of Papua New Guinea Defence Force as the only woman to graduate from the last officer cadet course at Igam Barracks, Lae.
Second-Lieutenant Lilly-Maud Gerari of Oro and Gulf parentage, is the daughter of Northern police commander Chief Inspector Lincoln Gerari. She is the third and youngest child in the family. Her graduation was witnessed by dad Lincoln and mother Agnes Gerari.
Gerari told The National that she was inspired to join the army when she saw navy ships berthing at the harbour while working with the Papua New Guinea Ports Corporation in Port Moresby.
“I usually see navy lady officers on the ships and that was an inspiration for me. And also I was inspired by my elder brother who is a former military service personnel. I decided to apply to join the cadetship of the PNGDF,” Gerari said.
She said the cadetship was challenging but she believed in herself.
“I wanted to challenge myself to the edge.”
She said as a final cadet for PNGDF academy her message to women interested in joining the military was: “If you want to achieve something and have a dream, follow your heart and never give up. Always be ready to face challenges that come your way and if you feel that you are at the edge of giving up, tell yourself that you have one more day.”
Dad Lincoln said: “She told me that she wanted to join the army, I told her that it was tough for her. But she said, ‘daddy I want to try it.’ And I thought she was imagining things,” Lincoln said.
He said unknown to him, his daughter had gone for an interview and later revealed that she passed and would join the PNGDF officer cadetship.
“I told her ‘okay, you want it go ahead, make sure you focus on what you want to be one day.’ And today she graduated with the rank of second lieutenant. I am very happy.
“I thank her for achieving her dream and I also thank the good Lord for guiding her to where she is now .”
By LARRY ANDREW