ICARE about women in leadership

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Bannau Tiiata, KIT Officer in Charge

For 21 of its 50 years, Bannau Tiiata has been working at Kiribati Institute of Technology across various roles, most recently as Officer in Charge at KIT. Bannau is guiding KIT through the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic with KIT Director, Peter Langbien, and colleagues working from Australia on behalf of the Kiribati Facility, supported by the Australian Government.

Beginning in 1999, Tiiata worked as a contracted Secretarial Lecturer and progressed to a permanent Government of Kiribati Business Lecturer position in 2003. She has since undertaken a Head of School position and more recently Deputy Principal/Director role for the past nine years. From this wealth of experience, Bannau cites gender equality and inclusion as a driving force in her 21 year tenure.

“Gender and inclusion is considered in our KIT admission policy and has stretched beyond expectation,” she said.

Bannau Tiiata in her office at KIT, Betio

Tiiata has seen many key developments take place at KIT including; professional development in the areas of leadership and management training and the roll out of student management software, obtaining Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Communities of practice activities, facilities and resources such as new modern buildings, trade workshops, computers and laptops, and the improvement in employee performance in quality and quantity of output, all of which have strengthened the profile and reputation of KIT as a leading quality, flagship TVET institute in Kiribati.

Bannau has an acronym she refers to as a guide for herself and the Institute; ICARE which stands for Integrity, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence in leadership and other spheres of life. In particular, Bannau wishes to emphasise her role in sharing these values with the younger generations of women in Kiribati;

“The ideals that are encompassed in this acronym are a constant reminder of the commitment and responsibility that is placed on me and the expectations of the I-Kiribati staff and students that I am here to serve.”

Bannau’s achievements are both of personal and professional significance to her and her family;

“Women in Kiribati have been marginalised for so long in the area of decision-making and leadership. However, it is relieving and empowering to see that the world is transforming rapidly, and one of the positive changes brought about in the workplace is the personal and professional development and empowerment of women as individuals and as a collective unit to climb the career ladder in diverse areas. Twenty years ago, the position that I am occupying now would be held by a man.”

Bannau Tiiata’s commitment demonstrates KIT’s gender equality and inclusion values and the important contribution made by women across all levels of organisational roles – and in the theme of the 50th Anniversary celebrations; ‘building futures from experience’.

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