Sarah Mecartney has been appointed as the Regional Director, Melanesia at the Pacific Community recently. She will be stationed at SPC’s Regional Office in Port Vila, Vanuatu. We asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better:
Can you tell us more about your background?
I am ni-Vanuatu and am proud to have served the Pacific region for most of my career. Before joining SPC I worked for the United Nations in both the Pacific, and in Afghanistan. My background in strategic planning, policy and programming doesn’t always provoke excitement but it does provide the critical elements of creativity, vision, and engagement to combine the science and analysis for informed decision making and service impact. I have also gained invaluable experience and skills through volunteering and contributing to community services. This has provided exposure to diverse actors working for the public good and that has grounded vision in tangible actions.
Would you share with us an event or a person that inspired you on your journey?
I’ve been encouraged and mentored by a number of people both professionally and personally. I don’t have enough space to acknowledge them all individually, but they all have commonalities across values, integrity and service commitments which have been a consistent source of inspiration. I’ve been particularly blessed and influenced by strong Pacific women at multiple leadership levels who serve as catalysts of positive change through vision, adept decision making and effective communication. I would be remiss for also not acknowledging the encouragement and advocacy of male champions fostering equitable workplaces. They are the OG influencers.
What are your ambitions for the Melanesian office as part of our organisation?
The Pacific Community has a long history and an important legacy of service to the Blue Pacific. My vision for the regional office is anchored in transformative institutional effectiveness (see our strategic plan) in recognition of its value add as a connector and as a contributor to our One SPC and One CROP aspirations. The regional office deepens respectful engagement and representation to member countries that reflects an evolution of relationships in a dynamic landscape. The focus is increasingly on authentic partnerships that foster shared understanding and collaborative action for prosperity, peace and planet benefits. I look forward to working with fellow Regional Directors in Micronesia and Polynesia to support the organisational drive for impactful outcomes.
A word for the SPC staff and colleagues you will soon be joining?
I have been fortunate to work with many of you in my role in the Strategy, Performance and Learning team. This afforded me the opportunity to learn from all staff, members and partners and the value add of their work and roles toward one SPC. Our value of Gida Gaituvwa (unity) is close to my heart, convinced that, together we are stronger. I acknowledge your stewardship of member relationships and your rich knowledge of development priorities and will be drawing on this. I am looking forward to working with you and to hear your needs and views on the value-add of the regional office which amplifies the work of our organisation, in service to the Blue Pacific.
Interview conducted by Clotilde Richalet Szuch, SPC's Corporate Communications Office