Hilda Lini’s Tuvanuatu Komiuniti is a network in Vanuatu to preserve the indigenous system of peaceful co-existence based on collective ownership, shared responsibility, and community accountability.
Hilda Lini coordinated the Executive Committee of the Women’s Wing of the Vanuatu Liberation Movement from 1977 until the country’s independence in 1980. She was awarded the Independence Medal for Victorious Contribution to Vanuatu Independence and was the only woman member of Parliament from 1987 to 1998, holding several portfolios. She was a founding member of the Vanuatu National Council of Women and in 1996 co-founded the Tuvanuatu Komiuniti, a network of indigenous leaders throughout Vanuatu communities who wish to preserve Vanuatu’s indigenous system of peaceful co-existence.
A mother of two children and a chief in Raga women’s chiefly society on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, Hilda Lini has held a number of key positions in her own country and the Pacific region. She was in the Cabinet in the Vanuatu Peoples’ Provisional Government (19771978), a founding member of the Vanuatu National Council of Women and the only woman member of parliament (19871998). There, the indigenous leaders of Turaga and Vanuatu approached her to assist in mobilizing them to preserve indigenous values of collective ownership, peace, and human security that they felt were fast eroding. They felt alienated from national decisions affecting their people. A chief herself, Hilda understood the issues they raised and in 1996 co-founded the Tuvanuatu Komiuniti, a network of indigenous leaders throughout Vanuatu who wish to preserve their indigenous system of peaceful co-existence, based on collective ownership, shared responsibility, and community accountability. Hilda maintained that her country’s acceptance of Western development strategies overlooked fundamental indigenous values. Therefore, she opposed Vanuatu’s acceptance of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund model of structural adjustment programs. In the early 1990s, as a result of her challenges to the status quo, she was banned from entering French Pacific territories. In 1993, under the pro-French Prime Minister, she lost her portfolio as Minister of Health because of her anti-nuclear stance, at a time when France was still conducting nuclear tests in its Pacific colonies. In 2000, Hilda became director of the Pacific Concerns Resource Center (PCRC), the international secretariat of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement. She resigned from PCRC in 2004 and is now doing work in her home island, Pentecost.
Vanuatu National Council of Women Tuvanuatu Komiuniti Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC)
Oceania | Vanuatu