The young seafarers: Glenda Amu, Lyllelah Kunai, Jamie-Lee Baim, Amy-Lee Turia and Irma Rua hope to become future deck officers in the maritime industry, and are five of an overall cohort of 20 female cadets studying to qualify as Officers of the Watch Deck and Officers of the Engine Room, under the Australia Awards Maritime scholarships program for women.
The scholarships involve study in PNG and sponsored international work experience at sea.
Australia Awards Maritime scholarships aim to address the skills shortage in PNG's industry and bring about positive cultural change in the maritime sector.
Between October 2018 and April 2019, the five trainees undertook practical seatime experience on board the MV Szechuen, gaining important skills and learning more about the international maritime industry.
"At first it was quite new to us, working with such a multi-national crew on board. So, we had to get used to working in a new environment," Kunai said.
Their time at sea involved the practical elements of the cadetship training program, building on theoretical knowledge gained during classes in PNG.
"On a daily basis our cadet training officer went through with us as per the cadet training program. We covered topics including navigation, cargo watch and mooring," Rua said.
The five awardees recently began a second phase of sea experience, this time with Pacific Towing, and are due to complete their cadetships in 2021.
Buoyed by their successes at sea, the five young seafarers hope to see more women follow them into the maritime sector, in which females remain under-represented.
"Women bring in a different perspective," Ms Kunai said, a view which fellow trainee Ms Amu shared.
"It's a tough industry. But if we can do it, other women can too," Ms Amu said.