Dr Yalinu Poya who has just recently graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland says that the journey is not quite over yet for her.
This incredible young woman who has over the years stamped her name as a renowned Chemist on the world stage with her very high achievements in the field of Chemistry, says there is no time to retreat or to be complacent now.
What started off as a dream at 12 years of age back in her hometown in Lae, Morobe Province has now brought her across the world, pursuing studies in the subject she loves and that is Chemistry.
The young doctor who attended her graduation early this month at the University of Glasgow said that as a Papua New Guinean born and bred intellect, her loyalty will always be to her mother land.
“I am a proud Papua New Guinean and my heart belongs to the land, its’ people and its’ development.”
“I am also concerned for my country’s development just like any other patriotic Papua New Guinean would be and therefore, I am making it my business to gain the knowledge and proper experience required so that I can go back and use what I have gained to make a difference,” Poya said.
Dr Poya said that the world is changing every day and there are new advancements in science and technology and stressed on the importance of keeping up to such transitions.
“In Papua New Guinea, there are many students who are interested in pursuing careers in science but there is not enough money being invested in science to enable Papua New Guineans to advance in this area of study.”
Dr Poya made reference to her most popular work to date which is her PhD research in Ammonia and said that this is one of the reasons why she will need to spend more time overseas, learning and researching on this before her work can be approved and released for use around the world.
“I will not be returning to Papua New Guinea soon however, once I have finalised and completed my research work, I would love to go back home and see what I can do for my country.”
“Due to the covid19 pandemic, we have not done any further experiments and research so I am hoping that work can start on this soon once the pandemic is over or when the measures become slighter,” Dr Poya said.
She also added that whilst being overseas, there are many opportunities and avenues where she can carry out her research work as these developed countries have the funding and resources available for students like her to pursue their interest in science.
The young woman from Pangia in Southern Highlands and Banz in Jiwaka Province has not only been committing to her studies at university but has also been doing all she can to give back to her country in any small way she can.
She has acted on many occasions as a career coach for other young Papua New Guineans who are interested in pursuing studies overseas either in the field of science or any other subject matter and has also used her position as an educated elite to pitch development ideas to heads of departments in the country.
Dr Poya also stressed that there are equal opportunities available for both men and women in the country and that there is really no need for women to prove their worth to anyone except to their own self.
“As a woman in a developing country like PNG, I can only try as much as I can to work on myself and do all I can to better myself not just as a woman but a human being in general.
“That alone will make people respect me for who I am and gender must not play any role in whether people respect each other or not,” Poya said.
The young doctor has said that in growing up, she has always seen herself as an equal to her male counterparts when it comes to matters of intellect.
Having male influencers in her learning path has also given her the courage to coexist in an equal playing field with the menfolk.
Dr Yalinu Poya who is currently teaching science and engineering courses in different Glasgow international colleges says that the key to success is commitment and hard work.
“My advise to young people pursuing success is to put pleasure to the side as that will come later in life.”
“If you have a talent or a gift in a certain area, you need to cultivate that area as not everyone will go on to university to get a degree however, everyone has value and worth.”
“Students need to understand this and have some form of faith in their lives,” Poya said.
“In the end, it’s not just about your family or your tribe and village. It’s about your country as well. Your country needs you,” Poya further stressed.
Yalinu has over the years gone on to receive international awards and degrees in the field of science with some of her most recent achievements being two awards from two world bodies: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN).
Yalinu became one of 118 chemists across the world to be selected by the IUPAC and IYCN and awarded the element Plutonium on the Periodic Table of Younger Chemists as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations earlier this year.
Dr. Poya did her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Papua New Guinea and her Master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry from the Northeast Normal University in China and has just recently received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
When asked about any special plans for the future, Dr Yalinu said that at present she is excited and happy to be tying the knot with her fiancée and is looking forward to the future as Mrs Yalinu Poya Gow as well as many more achievements to come.
The young doctor tied the knot with her husband Andrew on the 28th of August 2021.