Dame Carol Kidu
Dame Carol Kidu was first elected to Parliament in 1997 in Papua New Guinea as the member of Port Moresby South and retired from politics in the 2012 election after serving 15 years in PNG Politics. Dame Carol was the only woman in the 109 member Papua New Guinea Parliament for the last 10 of her 15 years and served her final political role as the Leader of the Opposition. Championing integrated community development policies and with a passion for social justice for marginalised groups, Dame Carol was committed to transforming legislative and policy frameworks for social development.
With a political career spanning across three terms, Dame Carol has been a key influencer behind a number of significant legislative and policy reforms and an advocate for greater involvement of women in national decision-making and political participation.
In 2003, Dame Carol established the Parliamentary Committee on HIV and AID and in 2008 the PNG Parliamentary Group on Population and Development. Dame Carol has also been Chairperson for the Special Parliamentary Committee on Urbanisation and Social Development from 2000 – 2002 and then Ministerial Committee on Urbanisation (established Office of Urbanisation) from 2002 – 2007.
In January 2005, Dame Carol was made Dame Commander of the British Empire and in 2009 was made a Knight of the Legion d’honneur by France for her commitment to helping marginalised groups such as women, children, disabled, HIV positive people and LGBTI groups. Dame Carol was also recognised in 2007 for her efforts to combat poverty, domestic violence and child abuse when Island Business magazine named her ‘Pacific Person of the Year’.
Dame Carol’s political career and life in PNG is vastly different from her childhood growing up in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, in the 1950’s. Carol’s life was transformed when she met her future husband Buri Kidu, a young boy on a colonial scholarship from Papua New Guinea, on a school camp in the 1960s. Despite the social norms of the time, Carol and Buri married and relocated to Port Moresby, PNG, where they raised their six children and Carol adjusted to village life.
Dame Carol Kidu’s extraordinary life experiences are captured in her autobiography entitled A Remarkable Journey (2002).
Dame Carol also featured on Australian TV program Australian Story in 2004 in an episode entitled Oh Carol.