About Us > Who We Are

Who we are

The Pacific Disability Forum works across the Pacific and this is reflected in our board and staff. Learn more about the people who work with us to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in the Pacific below.

Board 

Simon Dolaiano (Solomon Islands)
Co-Chairperson (Male)

Simon Dolaiano is the current President of Persons with Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI)

Villany Remengesau (Palau)
Co-Chairperson (Female)

Villany Remengesau – is a member of the Omekasang Assocaition of Palau.
 

Tewai Halatau (New Zealand)
Board Secretary

Tewai Halatau is the General Manager for Vision Pacific Charitable Trust

Ipul Powaseu (Papua New Guinea)
Board Member

Ipul Powaseu is the co - chairperson of the Papua New Guinea Association of Disabled Persons

Richard Fournier (New Caledonia)
Board Member

Richard Fournier is the presidnt of Collectif Handiap of New Caledonia 

Samantha French (People With Disabilites Australia Inc)
Board Member

Samantha French is the Senior Policy Officer,  Employment and Accessibility for PWD Australia.

Sovaia Coalala (Fiji)
Board Member

Sovaia Coalala is a member of the Fiji Disabled Persons Assocations 

Timote Solo (Tonga)
Board Member

Timote Solo is currently the president of Tonga NationalDisability Congress based in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. 

Teewata Rokete (Kiribati)
Board Member

Teewata is a member for Te Toa Matoa in Kiribati.

 

Staff

Setareki S. Macanawai
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Macanawai is accountable for the operational management and delivery of a range of business and advisory functions in support of the strategic goals and objectives of the PDF. As one of the pioneers of the disability movement in the Pacific and one of the DPO leaders who established the Pacific Disability Forum, he was our 1st  staff member in 2006 charged with the responsibility of setting up the PDF Secretariat in Suva, Fiji in January 2007. He has lead the PDF team, and fostered the disability movement across the Pacific since then. Setareki was recognised for his contributions by the UN in 2012 with an Asia-Pacific Disability Rights Champions Award.

Savina Nongebatu
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Savina Nongebatu is the Deputy CEO. She comes with wealth of experience and knowledge on issues surrounding Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Pacific and had been the Manager for PWD Solomon Islands before taking up this post. She will spearhead the Gender aspect for PDF.

Katabwena Tawaka
Manager - Preparedness Emergency & Respond Unit (PERU)

Katabwena Tawaka joined PDF at the end of 2010. He brought a lot experience from his role as Program Manager for PIANGO. He managed the Progam Team for the last 7 years and is now the manager for PERU since 2018.

Raveen Chand
Manager - Finance and Corporate


Raveen manages all financial, accounting, corporate and administrative matters and leads the corporate team. He has extensive experience working with local and international NGO’s as Finance, Procurement and administration specialist. Raveen also worked in the private sector as CEO, Manager Audits and Accountant.

Laisa Vereti Qalo
Manager - Planning, Policy & Advocacy

Laisa Vereti is the new Manager - Planning, Policy and Advocacy for the Pacific Disability Forum. She was previously responsible for PDF Research and was part of the UNPRPD Project where she was based at PDF as a UNV Volunteer. She previously worked as a programme coordinator for the Pacific Islands Association of NGO(PIANGO), a regional platform in the region. Prior to that she was an executive assistant/programme officer for a national NGO, the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS). She also worked for the Fiji School of Medicine and Oxfam Australia’s research in Fiji.

Angeline Chand
Team Leader - Programs

Angeline has been with PDF since 2009. Her role is developing the capacity of our member PDF Disabled Peoples Organisations through training and support. She also manages the Pacific Disabled People’s Organisation Development Fund. Angeline has been recognised for her work by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement. 

Simione Bula
Regional Coordinator - Disaster Preparedness

Simi came in in 2014 an was responsible for information and communications within PDF. He then took over the reigns as Inclusion Officer ensuring Inclusion in all areas of development and policies. Simi works closely with partners and policy makers to ensure inclusion is across the board and is inclusive of all persons with disabilities. Simi is currently the Rgional Coordinator in regards to disaste readiness in the Pacific.

Soloveni Vitoso
Public Relations & Communications Officer

Soloveni Vitoso is responsible for managing and maintaining PDF’s information, communication and technology services and for providing relevant trainings to member countries in these areas. 

Naomi Navoce
DIDRRN Programme Officer

Naomi Navoce implements and manages the approved PDF programme on disability inclusive DRR practices in the Pacific Region.

Lagesh Lal
DIDRRN Finance and Admin Assistant.

Lagesh Lal assists the Manager- Finance & Corporate with bookkeeping (general ledger & balance sheet reconciliation, payroll, petty cash, financial reports and accounts processing). He also facilitates administrative support and delivers excellent customer services for the DiDRRN Programme through Pacific Disability Forum. He also closely works with PDFs Finance & Administration Officer.

Arieta Dumaru
Executive Officer

Arie handles all secretariat work for the Chief Executive Officer.

Riteshni Devi
Finance and Admin Assistant

Riteshni Devi assists the Manager - Finance & Corporate with bookkeeping (general ledger & balance sheet reconciliation, payroll, petty cash, financial reports and accounts processing). She also facilitates administrative support and delivers excellent customer services for the Pacific Disability Forum.

Ruci Senikula
Programme Officer

Ruci is the officer responsible for our youth, inclusive sports, inclusive education and indigieous persons with disabilities. 

Rosie Catharine
Programme Officer

Rosie is responsible for disability inclusion churches and theological schools and under represented groups (psychosocial, intellectual and deaf blind disabilities)

Telesia Kobiti
Research Officer

Telesia undertakes research activities identified and prioritised by the Pacific Disability Forum which addresses the emerging issues facing persons with disabilities within the Pacific region. Working collaboratively with the disabled peoples organisations, NGO's, regional organisations, governments, businesses, Universities, research institutions, and other key stakeholders, she will also contribute to the development of policy frameworks, advocacy strategies, and capacity building programs that will support disability inclusion in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and related disability frameworks in the region. 


Neori Lagi
Office Assistant

Neori prepares refreshments for staff and visitors, ensures the office is in a clean and tidy state and runs errands as required.