James: Senior Village Liaison Officer
PNG LNG Project Senior Village Liaison Officer James is playing a vital role in developing and creating change in his local community in Komo District, Hela Province.
James is an accomplished man who has transformed his life from a young teenager who relied on violence to resolve problems to a man who is now recognised for his honour and integrity.
In 1997, James left Koroba High School in Grade seven to avenge the death of his uncle who lost his life during tribal fighting. Being a young Huli man, James' life was conditioned by customary practice to avenge the death of a family member killed during tribal warfare.
After years of seeking revenge for his uncle, in 2006 James made the decision to relocate from Koroba to Hides in search for a better life for himself and his family.
In 2009, James describes his life as changing forever when he was engaged as a Village Liaison Officer for the PNG LNG Project in the Komo area.
In this role, James was able to use his leadership skills to resolve conflict and advocate for positive change in his community, instead of using those leadership abilities to create conflict.
Today, as a leader in his community, James plays a pivotal role in helping ExxonMobil PNG, work with communities and landowners in PNG LNG project areas.
James facilitates a program that aims to deter youths and the community from using violence to resolve problems. He is shining the light on key issues and contributing meaningfully to his community and it's a role he's passionate about.
He doesn't believe in the use of weapons to solve problems like his ancestors but rather wants to promote peace and stability for local communities.
His work with ExxonMobil PNG and his commitment to influencing positive change in his community saw James nominated for the 2017 Digicel Men of Honour Award where he was presented with the Digicel Community Leadership Award.
The award acknowledged James' unique leadership skills and truthful and prompt approach to managing community issues, enhanced because of his experience working with ExxonMobil PNG and the PNG LNG Project.
A personal commitment to doing what is best for his community is what drives James and is what the community really admires about him.