Gorethy is one of the longest serving staff on the PNG Biomass project, she joined the project during the feasibility phase in 2013. Today she is Plantation Supervisor and oversees the plantation operations, including plantation establishment, maintenance of the plantations, fertiliser application, liaison with communities for contract work, GIS mapping, and technical forestry support work.
“I joined PNG Biomass because it is a community-oriented project in the Markham Valley. I have been working very hard since 2001 to disseminate a community forestry concept and I see PNG Biomass as one of the driving forces that can accomplish what I have been working towards,” explains Gorethy.
Previously she worked with the Forest Authority on re-establishing local forestry plantations. Later she joined Ramu Agri-Industries to pioneer a new forestry program, working with surrounding communities to negotiate a company extension program.
“I have enjoyed working with PNG Biomass since 2013, it is a company that looks into your qualifications, your experiences, your performance and treats you fairly accordingly.”
“The best way we can empower local women is to recruit women into our company and train them to work in the office and our plantations. We can also help the women of our communities to venture into small businesses, especially with intercropping, which is already happening in our plantations. This shows that we find what the local women are good at and then build from there and develop their expertise and business.”
“Being a female in the forestry field can be very challenging. I have often been the only female working as plantation supervisor, with all the male workers reporting to me. But I enjoy being a forester, and my advice for women is this: Put into practice what you have graduated with, enjoy your work, do your best, and realise that from humble beginnings you can be somebody up there,” emphasises Gorethy.