Noelynn Darius’s commitment and qualification through Australia Awards PNG have elevated her from a secondary school teacher to a university lecturer.

“I am a devoted alumna of the Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association. Being a member of this professional association has fashioned me to attain and perform in my new role as a lecturer here at the University of Goroka, as of this year. This network has been really profitable,” she claims.

Noelynn obtained a Master of Science through an Australia Awards Scholarship from the University of Western Australia in 2013. She has been practicing and teaching information communication technology (ICT) for almost two decades.

Noelynn conducting computer literacy class at her church.

“The Australia Awards Scholarship meant a lot to me personally, professionally and to my family,” she says. “In other words, it has greatly improved my livelihood. I am appreciative of this scholarship simply because I now can teach in a tertiary institution, knowing that I can comfortably deliver at a higher level of learning.”

Noelyn was urged to pursue a Masters in ICT in addition to her other qualifications because of her ambition to “break the barrier and myth that boys do better than girls,” she says.

Noelynn said she faced challenges as a female teacher when “adult male students in the class choose not to adhere to instructions.” However, that didn’t stop her from achieving her goals. She wanted to be a better STEM educator and inspire young girls to pursue careers in the field of ICT. “I had to prove that girls can be in ICT too.”

Noelynn challenges herself to keep abreast of changes in technologies and to maintain her professionalism in a male-oriented space. “Gender equality must truly prevail,” she says.

Noelynn (front-left) conducting computer literacy class at her church.

“One significant thing I learned about ICT while studying for my masters is that ICT is everything,” she says. “From academic and social life to well-being and almost anything in Australia. So having the skills to maneuver and search for specific and vital information not only on Google, but using a smartphone and laptop are equally important.”

Noelynn taught ICT over the last two years at Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH) International School in New Ireland province. She was the head of the STEM Education Center at the school, where she designed and led the integration of math and IT into science subjects. “The main achievement was that the Grade 12 results for the two years I was with OLSH International was good. OLSH was one of the best schools in the province putting it second and third placing nationwide,” she claims.

“My experience is one source of encouragement. After a successful attempt and attainment of the qualification, my family, community and country all benefited as I served on the merit of the qualification.”

“I encourage especially girls, young professional mothers and women for that matter, to attempt applying for the Australia Awards Scholarship that comes out every year,” she says.