Long serving Personal Assistant recognized for service to SOE’s

To say he was the proudest man that day would be an understatement.

Vagi Orarigo was at the Government House in Konedobu, to witness his wife, Helen Rupa, receive the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service (BEM).

Blending in with the excited crowd, he did a good job at containing his emotions of joy, complete satisfaction and all those other good feelings bubbling within.

To him, the award was the result of her hard work, but for her it was his understanding, confidence, trust, and most of all, love, which helped her achieve the award.

“Beside every successful woman, is a supportive man, and I owe every bit of this award to my very supportive husband. Without him, there is no me,” said Ms Rupa.

Ms Rupa, who is employed as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Infrastructure Officer at PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports), was recognized for her services to State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s).

She is a long serving staff member at PNG Ports having clocked 20 years with the Infrastructure Division which is responsible for delivering multi million kina port infrastructural developments throughout the company’s network of 15 ports.

Her work requires extended hours, often under pressure and the work load is immense. 

Being the sole bread winner in the family doesn’t make it less stressful, but she does it with the ease of a pro, thanks to her husband.

From chef to chauffer, keeper to fixer, a jack-of-all-trades, he keeps everything together while she worries about her job, says Ms Rupa as she spoke highly of her better half.

“There is never a time when he complained. Without an understanding husband who is always there for me, pushing me to do my best, I would not have lasted this long in my 31-year career as a Personal Assistant,” said Ms Rupa.

Ms Rupa can count herself one of the lucky few women, because these days, men like Vagi Orarigo come in short supply.

As if their life had been one prewritten by fate, the couple, from Pelagai in Aroma, Central Province, share the same birth day on June 25, 1969.

They married on April 17, 1988 and have two daughters aged 29 and 19 and a son, aged 14.

After working 11 years in other companies, Ms Rupa joined PNG Ports on May 19, 1997 as the Secretary to the Chief Engineer to the PNG Harbours Board, the predecessor to PNG Ports.

Maintaining her position, Ms Rupa has worked under seven different bosses in the Infrastructure Division which comprises of the company engineers, architects, builders, and a large team of tradespeople, where her responsibilities have been endless and very vital.

PNG Ports has looked after her well enough that she has purchased a piece of prime land at Rainbow in Gerehu where she has built a home and bought herself a car to make travelling to work and around the city easy.

The recognition given through the BEM honours her hard work and contributions of 31 years in the workforce.

She was the only fortunate one to receive an award out of 2000 other administration professionals that were nominated by Office Dynamics International, a company which specialises in training and skill building.

“I would like to thank Office Dynamics International for the nomination and confidence that I was special,” she said.

“I would also like to thank PNG Ports for being my best employer, giving me the opportunity to attend numerous trainings over the years and grooming me.”

“PNG Ports has changed me through quality trainings, attendance and participating in big admin conferences, and the overall experience with the company has made a big impact for me.”

“I have been working in this field for 31 years and there has never been a single day that I have thought twice about it.  My interest in what I’m doing, the willingness to learn and my love for my profession have played a role in the achievement of this award.”

Ms Rupa added that PA’s roles were vital in large organisations and sometimes, handling the tasks was difficult.

“We have to run with things, not sleep on things if you are working with a large team of highly qualified people,” she said.

Asked to rate her proficiency level, she said: “Just say one thing and move out of the way, I’ll do the rest.”

Statement on point, she has never failed her team on the administrative side of things, and the multimillion kina projects have always been delivered on time.

Her eyes are now set on giving more to PNG Ports, the company that has helped her progress in more ways than one.

During the investiture ceremony at Government House, a stranger approached her: “there are many hard working Papua New Guineans out there who commit themselves for the country, and you are one of them. You deserve this award.”

And yes, deserve it, she did.

To the countless long serving teachers, health workers, lone police officers, peace mediators, district officers, and the endless list of tireless patriotic citizens who tough it out in PNG’s harshest remote out backs, everybody contributes their share in nation building.

As Ms Rupa put it: “We all may not know but in all our professions and the little things we do in life, we are playing a role in nation building, and we must all have confidence in ourselves, and do something to drive PNG forward.”

“Whether you receive an award or medal or not, it does not matter, God will reward you. You serve with your heart, for your family and for your country.”

PNG Ports’ Board Chairman knighted, staff awarded

Businessman and Chairman of PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports), Nathaniel Poya is the latest knight to be appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Bestowed the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE), the humble businessman and Chairman of the fast growing State Owned Enterprise (SOE) will now be addressed as Sir Nathaniel.

Sir Nathaniel was officially knighted on December 8 at the Buckingham Palace in England by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

He was recognised for his contribution to business and PNG Ports in the Queen’s Birthday honours and joins a list of Papua New Guineans that were honoured for their services to the country.

Sir Nathaniel, who is serving his second term as Chairman of the PNG Ports Board, was given the award for providing the leadership and guidance to the SOE that had seen much growth in its business in the last five years.

The milestone achievements include some impact projects with an accumulative cost of over K1.6 billion at key ports in the country. They are:

  1. The successful negotiation and contract with Exxon Mobil for pilotage, line and security operations at its Caution Bay operations outside of Port Moresby
  2. The Relocation and Construction of Motukea Port Facility worth over K300 million
  3. The Lae Tidal Basin and Huon Industrial Park developments worth over K800 million and K300 million respectively
  4. Current construction of the 18-storey Head Office complex worth over K25 million
  5. Ongoing rehabilitation of smaller ports and existing facilities worth over K200 million

“On behalf of the management and staff of PNG Ports, I would like to extend our congratulations to Sir Nathaniel Poya and his family for this award. The award is timely and most fitting for a man of his calibre who has contributed immensely to the economy through business.”

“We at PNG Ports will continue to support him and work with him as he continues to provide the excellent leadership at Board level and in business in general in PNG, “ Managing Director of PNG Ports, Stanley Alphonse said.

 “Sir Nathaniel’s devotion to his passions in business, contribution to social development and community empowerment, has been recognised.”

“We are proud of this achievement and look forward to continue working with Sir Nathaniel to improve the lives of fellow Papua New Guineans through the business of PNG Ports,” Mr Alphonse added.

Also recognized for services to SOE’s was Helen Rupa, who is employed as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Infrastructure Officer at PNG Ports.

Ms Rupa was accorded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service, usually referred to as the British Empire Medal (BEM).

She is a long serving staff member at PNG Ports having clocked 20 years with the Infrastructure Division which is responsible for delivering port infrastructure projects.

Ms Rupa’s two decade experience in compiling and filing the paper work for all projects such as Tender documents, Board submissions, organising payment and raising Purchase Orders, sorting out project proposals, preparing project documents for the boss’ signature, organising meetings, taking the division’s meeting minutes, organising travels, taking phone call messages and the endless list of office tasks, ensures that projects were completed on time and that documentations were in order.

While congratulating Ms Rupa for being recognised through the award, Mr Alphonse commended her for the years served at PNG Ports, and contributing to the company’s continuity and stability.

Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture signs MOA with PNG Ports

PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV), in relation to a potential site at Lae for a land/water interface to dewater and stockpile concentrate from its proposed Wafi-Golpu project in Morobe Province for easy shipment to overseas markets.

In a MOA signed last week during the PNG Mining & Petroleum Conference, PNG Ports granted WGJV the exclusive right to deal with PNG Ports in relation to the potential site, and to access the site to conduct further studies regarding the site’s suitability as a port facility.

“PNG Ports recognises the importance of the Wafi-Golpu project in the context of PNG’s economic growth and acknowledges that the provision of land and water interface is a critical component of the Wafi-Golpu Project value chain,” said PNG Ports Managing Director, Stanley Alphonse.

“PNG Ports is happy to provide this critical component in the construction and operations of the Wafi-Golpu project going forward.  Such arrangements will go toward supporting PNG Ports’ strategy of developing the K300 million Huon Industrial Park in Lae,” he said.

PNG Ports has invested over K300 million into the 400ha Industrial Park located at the western end of Portion 508.

Expected to be completed by the end of 2018, the Industrial Park addresses some of the key impediments to economic growth and places Lae, the nation’s industrial hub, in a strong position for future growth.

The Industrial Park intends to service both dry and wet bulk trade and will comprise of warehouses suitable for heavy and light industries, commercial and small warehousing, hardstand for container and equipment storage, fuel, oil and gas tank farms, power generation, sewerage and effluent treatment.

There are also long term plans to build accommodation, recreation areas, firefighting and chemical containment facilities, hospital/clinic, church, counselling, and security and police facilities to service industry located with the Industrial Park.

Graduates pledge to give best to PNG Ports

Last year, six fresh University graduates walked through the corridors of PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) with a mixture of feelings; nervousness, excitement and joy.

Eighteen months on, they looked bolder, having a different version of feelings, equipped with job skills and training, it was a feeling of satisfaction and completeness.

The six graduated recently from the PNG Ports Graduate Development Program (GDP) after undergoing 18 months of vigorous hands-on work experience.

Adding on to their excitement, they were also confirmed to take up permanent employment with PNG Ports.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Leon Soka, thanked the PNG Ports management for having confidence in them to take part in the highly competitive program.

“We (graduates) came in with nothing, no job experiences, we were novices except our theoretical knowledge and concepts that we gained from university studies,” Mr Soka said.

“Despite that, you had confidence and trust in us and showed us the path to professional career development.  PNG ports not only taught us the know-hows of our career pathways but further helped us to know what’s within us, our potentials.”

“From this experience, we are proud to be part of the GDP that will serve as an important succession planning tool for PNG Ports going forward and will always give our best,” he said.

Managing Director, Stanley Alphonse, congratulated the graduates on their appointments and urged them to work together to contribute to the growth and development of PNG Ports.

The GDP was established to assist graduates to be developed as future managers and professional career employees with PNG Ports.

For more information on our GDP, visit our website www.pngports.com.pg