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Written: 21 August 2022

Meet Milne Bay’s Deputy Provincial Administrator, Corporate and District Services Ms Sharon Mua.

Sharon is a trailblazer, who has worked in various provincial planning roles. She is also the first female in the province to take up a provincial administrator position. In this first-person interview, Sharon tells us more about herself and how public servants can enjoy their retirement by saving with Nambawan Super.

I come from Misima Island in the Milne Bay Province. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) from the University of Papua New Guinea, I joined the Milne Bay Provincial Administration.

Only a few of us returned to work in the province. It felt good to give back, and we could see our efforts helping to strengthen and support an ageing public service workforce.

I started work as a casual public servant in the human resources division, and then worked in various provincial planning roles until I became a permanent public servant in 2006. This is when I also became a Nambawan Super member. I admire the way the public service has grown, and I too have grown my career with it.

I am now Milne Bay’s Deputy Provincial Administrator. I may be the first female in this role. I had a few role models in leadership positions who gave me the confidence to get to where I am now. I was the Acting Provincial Planner from 2011, before accepting the Deputy Provincial Administrator role in 2013.

Nambawan Super is the only savings most public servants have for retirement. Many public servants in Milne Bay and elsewhere in PNG do not have a backup for retirement. Nambawan Super provides the best investment to help them when they are no longer working.

It can be quite challenging to save with the ever-increasing prices of goods and services. With Nambawan Super, it’s encouraging knowing we will have something to lean on, especially a lifetime benefit, when we retire.

We need to help transform the behaviors of our people through financial literacy training. This will ensure everyone has access to finance, with a focus on savings instead of loans. Many opt for loans, and it can turn into bad habit. Be careful because loan repayments can go over your pay packet and overwhelm you.

Many public servants do not have extra sources of income. The only retirement funding that we have is with Nambawan Super, and we are fortunate that the PNG Government is doing this for us – not just in Milne Bay, but across PNG.

Knowing that we can top up our retirement savings with Voluntary Contributions is an important step to changing the outcome of our finances for our future. As public servants, we should be doing this, so we have extra savings at the end of our working lives. Voluntary Contributions can also help you save more and much faster, if you want to retire early.

Our savings at Nambawan Super are kept safe and the best thing about it is that I don’t get to touch any of it until I’m ready to retire.

I am thankful to the PNG Government for endorsing Nambawan Super as the preferred superannuation provider for public servants.

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