Papua New Guinea Peace Advocate
Commonwealth Point of Light 98. Sister Lorraine Garasu
Sister Lorraine Garasu, representing Papua New Guinea, has acted as one of the country’s leading peace advocates in Bougainville following the aftermath of decades of violent conflict which only came to an end in 2001.
In 2005, she set up the Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre to provide care and trauma counselling for women, children and former combatants affected by the violence. Over time, the centre that she founded has developed into a hub that connects local organisations and delivers a range of training and support services for community groups. In 2000 she was presented with the PNG Government’s Silver Jubilee Award in acknowledgement of her service to women in Bougainville; she was named among the PNG US State Department’s International Women of Courage in 2009; and again in 2009 collected the Order of Australia medal.
Sister Lorraine said:
“I am truly grateful for having being nominated for Her Majesty the Queen’s Commonwealth Points of Light Award. I wish to thank those that have made the nomination, for the recognition given to the work by Congregation, my colleagues and myself. It has never been in my mind to be awarded as my work is my calling and mission in life.”