Class XIII (2015-2016)

9. PEM WANGDI

Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Thimphu, Thimphu, Bhutan, District 3292 

Host Club: Rotary Club of Kenmore, Brisbane, AUS, District 9600 

Pem is from Bhutan and a mother of two. Prior to coming to Australia, she worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bhutan where she headed the Management Support Unit overseeing its program and financial management, and providing quality assurance support. Pem has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from the Rangsit University, Thailand, and a Masters’ in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University in the U.S., where her Masters’ thesis focused on the Impact of Integrated Community Development Projects on Gender Relations. Pem has also worked with the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), Bhutan’s first and only human rights organization looking after the rights of both women and children playing a key role in its establishment and program formulation. Her work at the NCWC included working with the judiciary and the police in reviewing existing legal and police processes and advocating for their reform to make them more women and children friendly, and a local NGO (RENEW) to expand its outreach and rehabilitation programs. Her work also included meeting victims of violence (primarily domestic violence) - the youngest being only 6 months - in order to document their stories to support future policy development (Bhutan now has a Domestic Violence Prevention Act). Together with her two children, Pem was in Bangladesh over the summer for her Applied Field Experience portion of the Fellowship working with the UNDP Bangladesh Country Office. She was attached to the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Facility, the project office for UNDP’s flagship program in Bangladesh. Pem firmly believes that the Fellowship and the degree in Peace and Conflict Studies has expanded her capacity and working opportunities. She is positive that the opportunity provided by this fellowship will give her a better grounding and more substantive knowledge and skills to work on issues of peace and conflict resolution in cultural settings very different from her own.