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Mar 15, 2024 | Media Release

Loau Donina Va’a, Chair Pacific Women’s Professional Business Network, Winner of the 2024 Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal

Award Medal
March 15, 2024
Community Harmony Medal - Loau Donina Vaa

“Our diverse community is like a mountain, …from the smallest particles to towering trees. Each of us adds a unique essence, deserving celebration. Within diversity lies the beauty of our shared humanity. Let’s honor our ancestors, mentors, and the wisdom our children teach us along life’s journey.” – Loau Donina Va’a, PWPBN.

The winner of the 2024 Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal is Loau Donina Va’a.

This award recognises an individual’s contribution and achievement in facilitating and promoting social cohesion, understanding and acceptance between members of different cultural or faith communities in NSW.

Donina has spent the last two decades of her career building trust and dialogue among leaders from different Pacific nations and government.

She has served in various capacities serving on the Board of the NSW Council for Pacific Communities, the committee of Homelessness and Domestic Violence, and in advisory roles with the Australia Asia Pacific Media Initiative and Multicultural Reference Group.

Donina founded the first Pacific Women’s Network in Australia and is currently Chairperson.

Her leadership within the Core Pacific Collective helped harmonise Pacific communities in their collaboration with the NSW Government on culturally appropriate responses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Donina’s commitment to equitable solutions was underlined during Covid-19 when she authored the COVID-19 Hope Tool Kit, an initiative that transcended language barriers and translated into five Pacific languages.

Throughout her career path, Donina has sought to unite women of diverse backgrounds through activities and initiatives that transcend cultures.

As a Service Manager at Muslim Women Australia, she delivered the ‘Linking Hearts Multicultural Service’, an initiative impacting the lives of women in the community fleeing domestic violence. In 2020, Donina was recognised with the Lead Practitioner Specialist Homelessness Service Award for her achievements in this role.

In the same year, Donina brought together three organisations which culminated in the formation of the NSW Core Pacific Collective. This collective achieved several milestones amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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